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Public Transport: Visual Impairment

Transport written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Tristram Hunt Tristram Hunt Labour, Stoke-on-Trent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals for a right to 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 Transport Act 2000 empowers local transport authorities in England and Wales to determine what local bus information, including information relating to facilities for disabled passengers, should be made available to the public and the way in which it should be made available.

It is expected that under the proposed EU regulation on bus and coach passenger rights, that operators and terminal managing bodies would be required to provide passengers with adequate information throughout their travel. Where feasible, this should be provided in accessible formats upon request. Negotiation of that regulation should conclude in the next few months, with the final text then published in the Official Journal of the European Union. As a regulation it would have direct application two years after its publication.

The Department for Transport commissioned a research project to investigate the costs and benefits of installing audio visual systems on buses, and to consider ways of increasing the take up of these systems. This project will provide guidance for local authorities and bus operators as to the benefits of audio visual systems and ways of implementing them.

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