Local bus operator aims to make it easier for people with a visual impairment to travel by bus at special depot open day.
First West of England are inviting people who are blind or partially-sighted, along with their families and friends to find out more about access and safety when travelling on buses in the city.
On Saturday 9th November First Bus are hosting a ‘Meet the Bus Day’, to give people who live with a visual impairment the chance to learn more about different bus models and get a better understanding of the support that drivers can provide on-board.
Attendees will be able to experience boarding and moving around the different vehicles, and First staff including drivers, trainers and depot managers will be there on the day to answer questions and discuss the access requirements for passengers who have a visual impairment.
Ian Coyle, Director of Operations at First West of England said:
“Our number one priority is that every customer feels safe and comfortable when travelling on our buses. Public transport can present challenges for those travelling with a disability and First West of England is keen to ensure that all customers know how they can access our services.”
Ian added: “If you have a visual impairment or know a friend or family member who does, we’d like to welcome you to our bus depot at Lawrence Hill on Saturday 9 November, where our staff will be able to take you around the buses and talk through any queries you may have.
“Our drivers are fully-trained to support disabled access needs when operating the buses. If there’s anything we can do to improve our guidance around travelling with a visual impairment for both customers and drivers alike - come along to our ‘Meet the Bus Day’ and let us know.”
First West of England’s ‘Meet the Bus Day’ is supported by Bristol Sight Loss Council, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, who support and raise awareness for the visually impaired.
Shelagh Austin, a visually impaired bus user and a member of the Bristol Sight Loss Council, said:
“It is great that First West of England has been able to set up this day, and we hope it is the beginning of many such events. People who are blind and partially-sighted are very dependent on buses, and good support from First Bus staff makes a huge difference in our lives.”
First’s ‘Meet the Bus Day’ will run from 11am to 3pm at Lawrence Hill Depot, with parking available and bus services stopping nearby.