Local MP Jon Cruddas has thrown his support behind a UK charity’s campaign to improve public transport access for the blind and partially sighted. Last Friday he donned a blindfold to experience a ride on the 103 bus near to his Dagenham and Rainham constituency office.
Jon experienced first-hand the challenges that are faced by blind and partially sighted people in his constituency week-in week-out when navigating public transport- such as not knowing what the next stop was, or whether he had reached his destination. Jon also encountered the challenges faced by visually impaired pedestrians- noticing and avoiding advertising boards, cars parked on pavements and hearing traffic when crossing busy roads.
The ‘Talking Buses’ campaign, being run by the charity Guide Dogs is pressing for changes in the law to make audio and visual information (AV), including audible announcements of the current stop, next stop and final destination available on board bus and coach services throughout the UK.
Jon was clear about the need for change: "This was an incredibly insightful experience for me into just how hard it is for blind and partially sighted people in my constituency to access public transport. It was a fun way to raise awareness about a very serious issue.
“Much more must be done to ensure that they have access to the transport links that myself and others take for granted. That’s why I am backing Guide Dog’s ‘Talking Buses’ campaign and am calling for the installation of AV on all new buses.”