Stop for me, speak to me
A group of blind and partially sighted people swapped places with bus drivers in Wakefield to demonstrate the barriers they face when travelling on buses.
The event is part of the Royal National Institute of Blind People's (RNIB) bus campaign which aims to foster a better understanding between bus operators, the simple message being: Stop for me, Speak to me.
Bus Drivers took part in tasks such as trying to board a bus and paying for a ticket and passengers got the chance to sit in the cab and experience bus travel from the driver’s perspective.
The aim of the event was to open a positive dialogue between bus drivers and blind and partially sighted people. Through a mutual understanding of the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted passengers, and by drivers themselves, experiences using public transport will be much improved.
Drivers from Arriva Wakefield Depot, Wakefield MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Mary Creagh attended the event on Friday 15th November, along with local blind and partially sighted people . It was a joint event between RNIB, Guide Dogs, and Arriva Yorkshire.
Tracey Dearing, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for Yorkshire and Humber, said: "Local bus travel is a lifeline, providing an important means of transport within the community for those who are not able to drive. 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. We want operators to remember one simple principle: Stop for me, Speak to me."
Nigel Featham, regional managing director for Arriva Yorkshire said: “We are delighted to get involved with this campaign. Often issues occur through a simple lack of understanding about the barriers faced by blind and partially sighted people. Our drivers are keen to experience these barriers in order for them to better serve our passengers."
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