Bus drivers urged to think of hailing issues

First published in Letters

Sir.–For those people with sight loss, 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.

To help overcome problems such as trying to flag down, board and get off buses, we want operators to remember one simple principle: Stop for me, Speak to me.

Nine in 10 blind and partially-sighted people cannot see to hail the bus they want and eight out of 10 miss their bus because it doesn’t stop.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) bus campaign Stop for me, Speak to me wants bus operators to change their policy and get drivers to stop for blind and partiallysighted customers – as they cannot see to hail the bus.

We’re also calling for bus operators to ensure their drivers tell blind and partially-sighted passengers the bus number and when to get off. It’s vital for bus drivers to speak to passengers with sight loss so they can plan their journey.

RNIB has heard from many blind and partially-sighted people who have good experiences on buses, and with drivers, but too many have bad experiences.

If you think blind or partially sighted people shouldn’t be left behind at bus stops, visit rnib.org.uk/bus –Eleanor Bullimore, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for South East, London.

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