Arriva UK Bus has signed up to RNIB’s (Royal National Institute of Blind People) Bus Charter to ensure services are accessible for customers with sight loss. The UK’s five main bus operators [1] have now pledged their commitment to the Charter.

RNIB’s Bus Charter sets out 13 commitments Arriva will make to improve bus travel for passengers. To mark this occasion a Swap with Me event was held yesterday (Tuesday 28 March 2017) at the Arriva bus garage in Durham. Arriva North East and Yorkshire drivers and managers swapped places with blind and partially sighted campaigners 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 RNIB’s Bus Charter, ensuring accessibility and ease of travel for all passengers are 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 passengers.”

Francesca Di Giorgio, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for the 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 RNIB and Arriva on their continued work on inclusion and their commitment to make travel easier for all.”

To find out more about RNIB’s Bus Charter and join our campaign visit www.rnib.org.uk/bus or call RNIB’s campaigns hotline on 020 7391 2123.

To find out more about Arriva Bus UK visit www.arrivabus.co.uk.

[1] Stagecoach, National Express West Midlands, First, Go-Ahead and Arriva Bus UK have all signed up to RNIB’s Bus Charter.