13 March 2017 
Source: RNIB

National Express West Midlands 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 bus operator has pledged its support for the Bus Charter, which sets out 13 commitments it’ll make to improve bus travel for passengers. To mark this occasion a Swap with Me event was held on Thursday, 9 March 2017, at the National Express bus garage in Walsall. National Express drivers and managers, and blind and partially sighted campaigners swapped places 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.

Peter Coates, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said: “National Express buses are for everyone. Our drivers are all trained to help our disabled customers use the buses safely, easily and confidently. We are very happy to demonstrate our commitment by signing up to RNIB’s Bus Charter.

“We’d like to thank RNIB for organising this Swap with Me event. It’s really brought home to our drivers how they can help our blind and partially sighted customers to use the buses more easily.”

Natalie Doig, RNIB Campaigns Officer, 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 National Express West Midlands has signed up to our Bus Charter committing to build on the good work they already do. We’re really looking forward to continuing to work with them.”

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