MP's blindfold bus ride

First published in News

VALE MP Alun Cairns will undertake a blindfold bus ride in Barry on Friday, May 2, courtesy of Guide Dogs Cymru.

The event, starting at Barry Library at 11am, will highlight the problems faced by blind and partially sighted bus users in the Vale, including guide dog owners.

A survey for Guide Dogs last year showed that many blind and partially sighted people in Wales are unable to enjoy the freedom that others take for granted because they find travelling by bus so difficult. Fears include getting off at the wrong stop and being lost in an unfamiliar area.

Guide Dogs is making a fresh call for all buses in Wales to feature next-stop audio announcements to help passengers with sight loss. Without such announcements, blind and partially sighted passengers have to rely on the driver, or people sitting near them, to tell them when they arrive at their stop.

Andrea Gordon, engagement manager for Guide Dogs Cymru and a guide dog owner herself, said: "Audio announcements on buses make a huge difference to passengers with sight loss. Guide Dogs wants all buses to be Talking Buses, fitted with on-board audio-visual technology which announces bus routes, destinations and next stops. We also want more training for bus drivers, so they know how to support passengers who are blind and partially sighted."

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