£2 million funding for buses set to make journeys for hearing and vision impaired people more accessible through assistive equipment
Revealed today by the Department for Transport (DfT), £2 million in funding has been made available to provide buses with vital audio and visual equipment to improve journeys for disabled people.
This funding has been made possible due to the announcement of DfT’s partnership with the Real Time Information Group (RTIG), which will help the Government allocate the £2 million to small bus operators.
The audio and visual equipment will help disabled people feel more confident when on buses, helping them know where they are and when to get off.
As well as the £2 million in funding, the Government has launched ‘It’s everyone’s journey campaign’ – a new initiative to highlight the part everyone can play in improving disabled people’s experiences when using public transport.
DfT is now calling on charities, transport operators, and commercial organisations to join the campaign to help raise awareness of the needs of disabled travellers and share some of the improvements being made to make travel easier for disabled people in the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It is unacceptable that people still feel they cannot travel by bus, because of a lack of basic route and destination information on board local bus services.
“This partnership is the next step in ensuring that passengers have the information they need to travel confidently on local bus services throughout Great Britain.
“However, we know there is more to do which is why I’m delighted we’re also launching our It’s everyone’s journey campaign today and I invite as many partners as possible to join up so that everyone has equal access to public transport.”
The fund for the provision of audio and visual information on-board buses was announced as part of the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy which aims to provide equal access to the transport network by 2030.
Operators of local bus services are likely to be required to have audio and visible information systems in their vehicles, and this funding is intended to help small operators which might find this costly to implement. DfT expects this funding to benefit up to 30 small bus operators.
Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Transport is at the heart of how we live our lives, and I am determined that we remove any barriers faced by disabled people.
“Every passenger, regardless of where they travel in Great Britain, should be able to do so confident that they have boarded the correct vehicle and are travelling to the right place.
“That’s why it’s fantastic to announce this partnership with the Real Time Information Group today, and I hope this funding will help more buses meet the needs of the people who rely on them every day.”