Bus Industry News, International

UK makes audible and visual announcements compulsory on local buses

The new rules mean all British operators must make accessibility improvements in the next few years

Late last month, new rules from Britain’s Department for Transport (DfT) say that all local British bus services must provide audible announcements and visual displays in a bid to make transport more accessible for disabled passengers.

Focus Transport says under new rules announced on March 30, local bus services will need to provide audible and visual announcements of the service’s route and direction, as well as each upcoming stop and any diversions, before October 2026.

The UK government has allocated 4.65 million pounds to introduce the additional access improvements on many of Britain’s smallest bus and coach operators.

“Everyone deserves to take the bus with confidence, and this is a massive boost for passenger independence,” UK roads and accessibility minister Richard Holden says.
“Simple and effective audible and visible information should be a baked-in feature of a modern bus service to help people reach their destination, wherever they travel in Great Britain.”

Currently, the DfT says only 30 per cent of buses outside of London provide audio-visual information for passengers, with the new change being enforced in the next few years.

Royal National Institute of Blind People accessibility innovation lead Marc Powell says: “This is a great step forward in the right direction, but there is still lots more to be done within travel and transport to make journeys more accessible for us.

“Alongside audio announcements and displays, it’s really important that bus companies ensure their drivers are educated on best practice such as always stopping at bus stops when they see a blind or partially sighted passenger and letting them know the number and direction of the bus.

“We urge all bus companies to sign up to RNIB’s bus charter and make the ‘stop for me, speak to me’ pledge.”

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