Nick Knox, Arriva North East, agreed to allow the RNIB to carry out training with bus drivers. The drivers met with blind and partially sighted people to hear the problems they face when they use buses.
Drivers also wore special glasses to simulate different visual impairments. It enabled them to find out for themselves how difficult it can be to board a bus, find a seat and get off at the right stop without help.
Linda Oliver, Engagement Officer for Guide Dogs, explains the problems that can face bus passengers who are visually impaired. Without help from the driver it can be impossible to know if they are boarding the right bus or getting off at the right stop.
Guide Dogs and the RNIB are calling for all buses to be fitted with audio visual announcements. Until that happens they are offering training to bus companies, so that drivers know the simple things they can do to help passengers who are blind or partially sighted.
Bus drivers in Newcastle have been given training to help them help visually impaired passengers. The training was organised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People after it discovered how many of its members struggle when using buses.
The RNIB hopes to provide training and advice to all bus companies, to ensure that drivers know what kind of help they should offer. Buses are a lifeline for people with visual impairments but seeing the right bus coming, finding a seat and knowing when the right stop is can be very difficult.