Bus and Coach Top Stories

Challenge to improve bus trips for blind and deaf people

27 October 2014 #Bus and Coach #Top Stories


The Department for Transport has challenged students to improve bus journeys for passengers with hearing or visual impairments, with the launch of the ‘All Aboard’ campaign.

This project has been set up to find cost-effective technology for buses that can help make journeys on public transport easier for deaf and blind people.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer launched the new competition at the Milton Keynes headquarters of government-funded organisation Transport Systems Catapult, that will run the scheme.

It hopes to get schoolchildren aged between 14 and 18 involved, with the winning designer receiving £1,000 and seeing their blueprint turned into a reality with the help of local businesses.

“Audio and visual announcements on buses are especially helpful for those who are visually or hearing impaired,” said Kramer. “We want to tap into the creativity we know is alive and kicking in our classrooms to find ways in which we make local transport more accessible.

“Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to access public transport, but there remain obstacles. I am open to ideas that could make buses more user-friendly for the many passengers who rely on them.”

With almost two million people living with a visual impairment in the UK, and more than 10 million people having some form of hearing loss, only buses in certain areas cater for their needs.

London buses are well-known for providing audio-visual information to assist passengers with details on the next stop or final destination of a service, but government research shows the high cost of technology is the main reason bus operators are reluctant to invest.

The deadline for entries to the All Aboard competition is 13 February 2015, after which a shortlist of entrants will present their ideas to a judging panel. The winner will be announced in March 2015.

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