Bridget says: “Sight loss should not prevent access to a quality local bus service”
Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has called on bus operators and the regional transport executive to do more to support commuters with sight loss after experiencing a blindfolded walk through Houghton town centre and a bus journey.
Organised in partnership with Guide Dogs UK, Bridget was guided by a trainer and guide dog to experience first-hand how those with sight lose experience the world and gain access to transport services. The experience was in aid of Guide Dogs UK's Talking Buses campaign, which seeks to amend legislation so that all new buses should be fitted with audio visual information systems.
Bridget has previously called on bus companies to act to introduce measures supporting commuters with mobility and access issues. You can read more here:
Bridget Phillipson MP said:
“I have long campaigned for a better local bus service for all residents across our area.
“I was able to experience first-hand the particular difficulties that blind and partially sighted people face when negotiating busy streets and using public transport. Thanks to Guide Dogs UK, I took part in a blindfolded walk through Houghton town centre and onto a bus.
“It was a disorientating and at times frightening experience and gave me a glimpse into the social isolation that blind and partially sighted people face all too often. A relatively short walk seemed to take twice as long as normal and you realise how you take for granted carrying on with day to day tasks. Public transport is especially important for residents with sight loss, and for many people with other disabilities. That's why I will continue to call on bus operators and Nexus to do more to ensure fair access for everyone.”