Roll out of audio-visual bus announcements

Thu,13 April 2023
News Transport

The Department for Transport is introducing rules requiring almost every local bus or coach service to provide audible announcements and visual displays identifying the route and direction, each upcoming stop, and the beginning of any diversions.

The long overdue Department of Transport requirement that audio/visual messaging has to be implemented by bus and coach operators for all journeys has the potential to make bus travel easier for all Disabled people. As has been observed by forward-looking operators such as Brighton and Hove and Blackpool, amongst others. A note of caution is that the initiative is only supported by £4.65 million in funding to cover all operators.

DR UK Transport Adviser Stephen Brookes said “ Whilst the announcement on audio-visual announcements is positive, overall there is far less money for ensuring that public transport is fully accessible. The  representative body, the Confederation of Passenger Transport has said that grants will be 20% lower in real terms than they were 10 years ago.

At the same time as buses being designed more accessibly, we need bus routes to be maintained and where necessary subsidised. The Parliamentary Transport Select Committee has said that bus services are “hanging by a thread”. Unless more funding is found to build a bus network fit for the post-pandemic world, we will continue to see bus services in some areas just disappearing.

Public transport must be safe, affordable and reliable and  those of us who depend on buses need services that we can rely on.”