Members Participate in 'Stop for me, Speak to me' Launch at Lothian Buses

Posted: 25/07/2014 | Scottish War Blinded

Scottish War Blinded members Derek McDonald, John Sharelow and Mary Stocks attended the launch of the RNIB led ‘Stop for me, Talk with me’ campaign on Friday 18 July at Lothian Buses.

RNIB ran a survey in 2012 collecting responses about visually impaired people’s experiences accessing public transport. Here are some of the survey’s findings:

·        9 in 10 people with sight loss cannot see an approaching bus in time to hail it

·        8 in 10 people with sight loss say they missed the bus they want

·        7 in 10 missed the bus because it boarded away from the official bus stop

·        5 in 10 found it difficult to get verbal information from the driver

Scottish War Blinded member at Stop for me, Speak to me LaunchAs a result, the ‘Stop for me, Speak with me’ campaign aims to improve visually impaired people’s experiences using public transport by establishing working relationships with transport providers.

Ian Craig, Chief Executive, Transport for Edinburgh said:

“We work hard at Lothian Buses to make our buses as accessible as possible, for all passengers.  All our buses are low floor easy access and our newest buses all have next stop information announcements on screen and in audio.

We are delighted to be able to play our part in breaking down the barriers that prevent people from travelling and that's why we're right behind this campaign.”

Scottish War Blinded members, alongside Haggeye members of RNIB, met with Lothian Bus employees participating in a series of mini-workshops focusing on mobility, information and accessibility.

Lothian Buses staff experienced entering, navigating and leaving a bus, wearing simulation spectacles, to appreciate the challenges faced by visually impaired people.

Members also enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the various roles of Lothian Buses staff, the measures introduced to assist visually impaired people as well as the opportunity to learn about the controls of their latest bus hybrid model.

Derek McDonald said:

“It’s been a very interesting day finding out about Lothian Buses operation. It’s very handy now having an audio description informing visually impaired people about the next stop.”

Mary Stocks commented:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I also had an opportunity to suggest an improvement to the handrails as I found them too slippy. Lothian Buses are introducing a grip feature as a result which is a positive response to my feedback.”

John Sharelow remarked:

“It’s good to know that Lothian Buses are aware and pro-active about assisting visually impaired passengers. I now feel much more confident.”