Accessible travel advocate receives MBE at Buckingham Palace

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Brighton & Hove Buses’ Accessibility and Community Manager Victoria Garcia received her MBE from the Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace on 19 November for services to disabled transport users.

Victoria was honoured for her work in making public transport more convenient and accessible for everybody.

She dedicated her MBE to her mum, Deirdre French, who she said had ‘huge respect’ for the Queen and the Royal Family.

“It was a perfect day, which I was so excited to share with my children and family. HRH The Duke of Cambridge was wonderful, taking time to speak with everyone. I feel so humbled and honoured. My only sadness is that my mum wasn’t here with us, but I know she would’ve been so proud.” Victoria said.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the community groups and customers who’ve worked with us to make buses more accessible for all. Thanks also to the people who nominated me, as well as my colleagues, and especially my boss Martin Harris, who has supported, encouraged and believed in me. I have the best job in the world!”

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris said Victoria’s recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June was ‘thoroughly well deserved’.

“Victoria’s dedication and passion for her work is widely recognised and celebrated in the city. Her MBE is a clear signal that improved accessibility, which is such a priority across all modes of transport, can only be achieved through real collaboration with customers and with communities. We are all very proud of her.”

Victoria led on establishing the bus company’s award-winning Helping Hand Card and has also worked extensively with disabled people and community groups on bus design and bus driver training, as well as leading a campaign to address hate crime on public transport.

Victoria’s role includes chairing the local Community Rail Partnership and earlier this year she joined the Department for Transport’s accessibility team as a Senior Policy Advisor on a part time secondment.