Campaign over bus travel issues

For those people with sight loss buses are often the only affordable way to travel independently to work, appointments or to visit friends and family.

However, the difficulties blind and partially sighted people face in making journeys, that other people often take for granted, are unacceptable and often unnecessary.

To help overcome problems such as trying to flag down, board and get off buses, we want operators to remember one simple principle: Stop for me, Speak to me.

Nine in ten blind and partially sighted people cannot see to hail the bus they want and eight out of ten miss their bus because they don’t stop.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) bus campaign ‘Stop for me, Speak to me’ wants bus operators to change their policy and get drivers to stop for blind and partially sighted customers - as they cannot see to hail the bus.

We’re also calling for bus operators to ensure their drivers tell blind and partially sighted passengers the bus number and when to get off.

It’s vital for bus drivers to speak to passengers with sight loss so they can plan their journey.

We do not believe any driver wants to leave anyone behind at a bus stop or ignore a blind customer’s request for verbal information.

RNIB has heard from many blind and partially sighted people who have good experiences on buses, and with drivers, but there are too many having bad experiences and being put off using their local bus service.

Local bus travel is a lifeline, providing a sole means of transport within the community for those who are not able to drive.

Join our campaign. If you think blind or partially sighted people shouldn’t be left behind at bus stops visit www.rnib.org.uk/bus

ELEANOR BULLIMORE

RNIB regional campaigns officer for South East, Judd Street, Kings Cross, London