£2m funding announced for audio-visual info

A new partnership is to bring £2m of funding to small bus-operators for audible and visible onboard information.

The DfT and the Real Time Information Group (RTIG), which supports good practice in the use of communications technology on public transport, are working together to deliver this. The funding is intended to ensure passengers can board more buses with greater confidence, knowing where they are and when to get off.

The funding was announced as part of the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy which aims to provide equal access to the transport network by 2030. The DfT says operators of local bus services are likely to be required to have audio and visible information systems in their vehicles, and this funding is intended to help small operators which might find this costly to implement. The department expects this funding to benefit up to 30 small bus operators.

The announcement coincides with the launch of the ‘It’s everyone’s journey’ campaign, the first stage of a new Government-backed initiative to highlight the part people can play in improving disabled people’s experiences when using public transport. The department is now calling on charities, transport operators, and commercial organisations to join the campaign, helping to raise awareness of the needs of disabled travellers.

CPT responds

CPT’s Operations Director, Keith McNally, said: “CPT very much welcomes the Department for Transport’s ‘It’s everyone’s journey’ campaign and the announcement of £2m funding which will help to improve the bus experience for all passengers, including those with visual and hearing impairments.

“Audible and visible onboard journey announcements give bus passengers, both regular and new travellers, added confidence and peace of mind when taking services across the country.

“Attracting people out of cars and on to buses remains key to alleviating road congestion, reducing journey times and improving local air quality, and we fully support this initiative which will make buses even more attractive and accessible to all.

“CPT will be working closely with DfT and operator members during the roll-out of the campaign, and we look forward to hearing the outcome of last year’s Accessible Information consultation which will enable operators to plan and further invest in this area with confidence.”

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