A BLIND man from Olton has joined a campaign for audio visual announcements to be installed on buses.
The charity Guide Dogs is calling for all buses to be fitted with the devices, to alert people with sight loss when they have arrived at their stop
A survey carried out by the charity has revealed bus passengers are being left stranded and vulnerable because they’re getting off the bus too late.
Among them is Lyndon Road resident Peter Millgate, who has been completely blind since the age of 11.
He travels across the West Midlands and Warwickshire for his job as a piano tuner.
The 45-year-old said: “Most memorably, there was a day that I was travelling from Birmingham International to the end of my street and had asked the driver to let me know when I was at the correct stop. Instead of listening to me, he kept banging on the screen telling me to scan my pass.
“I missed my stop and found myself in an unknown area surrounded by busy traffic with a noisy helicopter above me which restricted my hearing. I felt like I was on an island and had no idea how to get home, it was terrifying.
“I find that people aren’t as helpful any more. If there were audio announcements on buses I would be able to overcome travel anxiety and enjoy the independence my guide dog gives me.”
David Cowdrey, campaigns manager at Guide Dogs, added: “Some of the stories that survey respondents told us were awful including one lady who was almost locked in a bus in a depot for the night because the driver forgot she was there. People are ending up lost or left in potentially dangerous situations because they can’t get the information they need about their bus journeys.”
“Our Talking Buses campaign is lobbying for audio-visual announcements on board buses to help everyone, not just blind and partially sighted people. We want all buses to have information telling passengers the next stop and the final destination, much like trains.”
For more information about Guide Dogs’ Talking Buses campaign, go to www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/talkingbuses/