Mark Menzies MP on board with Guide Dogs’ Talking Buses campaign

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FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has backed a campaign to make travelling by bus easier for the blind or partially sighted.

The Member of Parliament attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament to support the Guide Dogs charity’s campaign to make sure all new buses have audio visual (AV) next stop announcements, which are vital for those with limited vision.

The reception, which was addressed by Bus Minister Baroness Kramer, highlighted how the announcements enable blind and partially sighted people to understand their location and prevents them from missing their stops.

Following the event, Mr Menzies said: “Technology is there to help make our lives easier and the Talking Buses campaign is certainly an excellent example of that.

“Buses and other forms of public transport are vital for people with limited vision to get around and maintain their independence.

“Audio visual assistance helps people with sight loss to be able to travel safely and is the sort of technology which should be available to passengers everywhere.”

AV systems are only fitted to around one fifth of the bus fleet nationally, with the overwhelming majority operating in London.

Guide Dogs wants it to be a legal requirement that all new buses are fitted with AV, as currently bus operators are under no obligation to include the technology when upgrading their fleet.

Guide Dog’s campaigns manager James White said: “Buses are a lifeline for people who are blind or partially sighted and we welcome Mark’s support.

“Without AV, bus travel for people with sight loss can be especially difficult, stressful, and dangerous when stops are missed and they end up in an unfamiliar area.

“Safe and accessible bus services give people with sight loss much greater freedom to work, socialise and participate in the community.”

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