Bus Users UK launches Accessibility Audit 2023

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Bus Users UK is calling on coach and bus operators across the UK to take part in its annual survey of transport accessibility. The survey is designed to provide a snapshot of the work being done to improve access to transport, with the findings shared among passengers, disability groups, operators and the wider industry. Its aim is to highlight best practice, innovation and encourage operators to think more inclusively when planning and designing services.

One of the main findings of last year’s survey was that improving access doesn’t have to mean costly design and high-tech, the charity said, adding that requiring drivers to pull into every stop where there are waiting passengers can make a huge difference to those who are unable to signal, and printing timetables and accepting cash payments ensures people without a bank account or internet access are still able to travel. Other features such as audio-visual announcements, driver awareness training and better designed on-board space were also highlighted.

Launching this year’s survey, Bus Users Director for England Dawn Badminton-Capps said: “Bus passenger numbers fell dramatically during the pandemic and Government messaging not to use public transport along with changing work patterns has meant numbers have failed to return to previous levels. If we are to protect services, meet decarbonisation targets, deliver on BSIPs and achieve the Government’s levelling up agenda, it’s more important than ever to encourage more people on board. To do that we need to raise the bar on inclusion and access so that buses become a viable and attractive option for everyone.”

The Accessibility Audit will be live throughout March and can be reached via the Bus Users website.