Henry Smith MP has reiterated his support for Guide Dogs at an event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham last week.
The MP for Crawley supports Guide Dogs’ proposal to make buses accessible for everyone. The Government has acted to include this proposal in the Bus Services Bill.
“It’s concerning how often blind people miss their stop because they simply don’t know where they are. The Bus Services Bill is the biggest reform of buses since the 1980s – a great opportunity to ensure that blind people can use buses safely too.
“I’m delighted that the Government has acted to include Talking Buses in the Bill by bringing forward an amendment.”
Henry has previously taken part in events that Guide Dogs have organised in Crawley, where he put on a blindfold to experience what it is like to be visually impaired and travel by bus, he was also sighted guided around County Mall and Three Bridges with a cane, and experienced a walk with a guide dog.
Conservative MPs at the Party Conference heard about the experiences of a guide dog owner who had missed their stop and was left stranded on a bus because they were unable to know where on the route they were.
Talking Buses provide ‘next stop’ and ‘final destination’ announcements, and are vital for people with sight loss to live independently.
James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, commented;
“Talking Buses give independence to people with sight loss, enabling them to travel on their own and reducing stress and anxiety. They also help other travellers including tourists and infrequent bus users to reach their destination safely.
“The Government have recognised the need to roll out Talking Buses nationwide. We are asking politicians like Henry Smith to ensure they follow through and commit to making Talking Buses the norm across the UK.”