Bus Services: Visual Impairment

Transport written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Labour, Newport East

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the accessibility of buses for blind and partially sighted people.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR) outline specific requirements for the bus industry to ensure that buses are as accessible as possible for disabled passengers. These include facilities such as low-floor boarding systems, visual contrast on step edges, handholds and handrails and priority seats that can be of particular benefit to blind and partially sighted passengers.

All new buses used on local or scheduled services to carry 22 passengers or more are required to be fully PSVAR compliant, and all buses will have to be compliant by 2015, 2016 and 2017, depending on the bus type.

According to the Department's annual bus statistics (published in September 2013) 78% of the total bus fleet in England is now PSVAR compliant. We will continue to monitor compliance with the industry.

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