Winner of bus audio-visual student competition announced

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Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced the winner of a competition to improve bus journeys for people with sight and hearing impairments.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer unveiled the winning entry – a vibrating wrist band – at the Big Bang Fair at the Birmingham NEC.

The winner of the Dragon’s Den style contest, Daria Buszta, aged 17 from Nottingham, received a cheque for £1,000.

Daria’s winning design is a low-cost adjustable wristband given out by bus drivers incorporating a Bluetooth device that links up with the driver’s ticket machine and vibrates when the passenger is close to their chosen stop.

Daria will now get the opportunity to work with local businesses to have her design developed into a working prototype. This will include using funding worth £100,000 from the Transport Systems Catapult, one of seven technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Baroness Kramer, head judge for the All Aboard competition, said: “Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to access public transport, but there remain obstacles. This competition, driven by the lack of audio-visual for the deaf and blind, was a fantastic opportunity to make buses more user-friendly for all of the passengers who rely on them.

“Daria came up with a very simple answer to a complicated problem. Her design was discrete, cost effective and has huge potential. This isn’t just an idea that will stay on paper. It will get serious backing and will hopefully start changing people’s lives in the not too distant future.”

Daria Buszta said: “I wasn’t expecting to win, but I’m excited that my idea will be made into a real working product. I’m so glad it will help so many people feel comfortable and independent on public transport.”

The competition was presented by BBC technology presenter Spencer Kelly. The judging panel included Baroness Kramer; Lord Low of Dalston, Vice President of the RNIB; Teresa Morini, musician, producer and campaigner for Action on Hearing Loss; Martin Hancock, Development Director, National Express; and Corbin Adler, Non-executive Director of Mobile Onboard.