Accessible Travel Information

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South 10:30 am, 23rd June 2011

If he will bring forward proposals to ensure the provision of accessible public travel information for blind and partially sighted people.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

The Department is committed to improving accessible transport information that is available to enable people to plan their full journey. For example, the development of a journey planner for spectators going to the Olympics has provided an important new opportunity to achieve high standards of accessible information.

Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

I thank the Minister for that answer, but has he had any discussions with the railway operators, particularly in relation to the implications of cuts in the staffing of railway stations for people with disabilities?

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

Matters relating to individual stations are, of course, ultimately ones for the franchise holder, but we have offered financial support for new information systems at more than 170 railway stations since 2006 and audio-visual passenger systems have been mandatory for all new rail vehicles since 1998.

Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby

I received a visit from my constituent, Lionel Broughton, on this matter with regard to buses. My local bus company, Stagecoach, has said that it will look at introducing visual and voice announcements on its fleet. Can the Minister do anything to give the industry a nudge?

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

I am delighted to say that I wrote to the Confederation of Passenger Transport, which represents the main bus operators, on 23 May, to give exactly that nudge.