Arriva signs up to RNIB’s Bus Charter to improve travel for blind and partially sighted people
Arriva UK has signed up to RNIB’s (Royal National Institute of Blind People) Bus Charter to ensure services are accessible for customers with sight loss.
Arriva has pledged its support for the Bus Charter, which sets out 13 commitments to improve bus travel for passengers. To mark this occasion a ‘Swap with Me’ event was held on Tuesday (28th March) at Arriva’s bus garage in Durham. Arriva North East and Yorkshire drivers and managers, and blind and partially sighted campaigners, swapped places to learn from each other’s experiences.
The drivers were invited to wear simulation spectacles, which simulate three of the most common sight conditions: age related macular degeneration, cataracts and retinitis pigmentosa. They were then assisted by RNIB campaigners to board and navigate their way around the bus. The campaigners also had the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat and experience what it’s like to communicate with passengers through the drivers’ screen.
Nick Knox, Area Managing Director of Arriva North East, said:
“We are delighted to sign this charter with the Royal National Institute of Blind People. 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.”
Fran DiGiorgio, Regional Campaigns Officer for the RNIB North East, said:
“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.”
Adrian White, Head of Transport and Contract Services for Durham County Council, said:
"The accessibility of public transport is essential to people living with sight loss, giving both independence and a sense of being part of the community. I congratulate Arriva on their work on inclusion and their commitment to make travel easier for all."
To find out more about RNIB’s Bus Charter visit www.rnib.org.uk/bus or call RNIB's campaigns hotline on 020 7391 2123.
Top – left to right: Nick Knox (Area managing director, Arriva North East); Francesca Digiorgio (Regional Campaigns Officer, RNIB North East); Angus Huntley (Arriva customer) and Bill Morrow (Arriva bus driver and Unite trades union leader)
Centre - left to right: Signing the Arriva RNIB Charter. Francesca Digiorgio (Regional Campaigns Officer, RNIB North East); Bill Morrow (Arriva bus driver); Angus Huntley (Arriva customer) and Nick Knox (Area managing director, Arriva North East)