Rosie Cooper MP showed her support for a campaign led by the charity Guide Dogs to make travelling by bus easier for people with sight loss.
The MP for West Lancashire attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament on 2 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 reception, which was addressed by Bus Minister Baroness Kramer, 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.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“The technology is proven to work and is hugely beneficial for blind and partially sighted people in giving them greater independence. Therefore, Government should make this AV equipment a requirement on all new buses.
“I am delighted to be backing the Talking Buses campaign alongside the Guide Dogs.”
James White, Guide Dogs’ Campaigns Manager, said:
“Buses are a lifeline for people who are blind or partially sighted, and we welcome the support of Rosie Cooper 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.”