Andrew Gwynne MP showed his support for a campaign led by the charity Guide Dogs to make travelling by bus easier for people with sight loss.
The MP for Denton and Reddish went to an event at the Houses of Parliament on 2nd July in support of Guide Dogs’ campaign to make sure all new buses have audio visual (AV) next stop announcements, which are vital for blind and partially sighted bus travellers.
The event highlighted how announcements enable blind and partially sighted people to understand their location, and prevent them from missing their stops.
AV systems are only fitted to around one fifth of the bus fleet nationally, with the overwhelming majority of these buses operating in London.
Guide Dogs is calling for the Government to require all new buses be fitted with AV, as currently bus operators are under no obligation to include this technology when upgrading their fleet.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I totally agree with the principle of this campaign. There are no excuses for bus operators to avoid fitting this technology to new buses when old fleets fall out of service.
“Buses are a lifeline for people who are blind or partially sighted.”
James White, Guide Dog’s Campaigns Manager, said:
“We welcome the support of Andrew Gwynne MP for people with sight loss to be able to travel safely and independently.
“Without AV, bus travel for people with sight loss can be especially difficult, stressful, and dangerous when stops are missed and they end up in an unfamiliar area.
“Safe and accessible bus services give people with sight loss much greater freedom to work, socialise and participate in the community.”