Bus operator Arriva has become the latest transport company to sign up to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Bus Charter, which aims to ensure its services are accessible for passengers with sight loss. It is the third bus company in the last month to sign the pledge, joining Go-Ahead and National Express West Midlands.
Pledging its support to the charity charter, Arriva commits to meeting the 13 commitments stated in the document in a bid to improve bus travel for blind and partially-sighted people.
To mark the commitment, the RNIB hosted a local ‘Swap with me’ event at Arriva’s bus garage in Durham on Tuesday (28 March). The event allowed employees to ‘swap’ places with blind and partially sighted people and learn from their experiences.
Drivers were invited to wear simulation spectacles, which gave wearers an impression of what it is like to live with age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and retinitis pigmentosa. They were then assisted by RNIB campaigners to board and navigate their way around a bus.
After making the pledge, area managing director for Arriva north east, Nick Knox, said:
“We are delighted to sign the RNIB’s Bus Charter, ensuring accessibility and ease of travel for all passengers is high on our agenda.
“We hope the signing of this charter and the phased roll-out not just in the North East, but nationally, shows how serious we are about making travel easier for all passengers.”
RNIB regional campaigns officer for the North East, Francesca Di Giorgio, added:
“Blind and partially sighted people rely on bus services to get to work, visit friends and family, and be part of the community. Buses are a vital lifeline bringing independence to many people with sight loss.
“We are delighted that Arriva has signed up to our charter committing to build on the good work they already do. We’re really looking forward to continuing to work with them.”
To find out more about RNIB’s Bus Charter, visit its website.