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07 Mar 2016
The second annual Disabled Access Day aims to encourage disabled people, their friends and families to visit somewhere new, whether that’s a coffee shop, cinema, museum, sports centre or anywhere else. Stagecoach East Scotland will be joining over 100 venues and companies that have already signed up to take part in the day.
Customers will be able to visit an accessible coach at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Saturday 12 March between 10am and 2pm to meet with staff to share any ideas or concerns about bus travel with Stagecoach. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the efforts made by the company to make access to services easier and the chance to try to use a coach in an atmosphere free from pressure or time constraints.
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Scotland said: “Disabled Access Day is a great opportunity to spend time in the community, learning from the people we serve whilst also educating and reassuring passengers about our services and what we can do to help those with disabilities. We’re delighted to be able to support this important day by taking part in the event at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and are looking forward to meeting our customers!"
Stagecoach East Scotland is helping passengers with disabilities by providing Journey Assistance Cards for passengers who need a bit more help when using the bus. The cards make it easier for passengers to let bus drivers know what extra help is needed.
The bus company is constantly investing in the fleet of buses to improve access and space for the disabled in wheelchairs, disabled buggies and certain approved mobility scooters. Almost £10m has been invested in the Stagecoach East Scotland fleet in the last year.
Stagecoach are committed to a charter, produced with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that promises to deliver a better service to customers with sight loss. The charter pledges to help improve the accessibility of local bus services as well as raising awareness among employees of the need to understand the practical issues faced by blind and partially sighted customers. To further educate Stagecoach East Scotland staff members, RNIB will be holding a talk on Friday 18 March at a local bus depot to discuss the charter and how to deliver a better service to customers with sight loss. Further information on the charter can be found at: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/news/national/2015/july/stagecoach-commits-to-improving-accessible-travel-through-new-rnib-charter
Stagecoach East Scotland also offer passenger information in alternative formats, including large print, Braille and audio on request and provide guidance about accessing Stagecoach services with a wheelchair, disabled buggy or approved mobility scooter via a dedicated disability helpdesk available on 01333 426038.
Free travel may be available through a local authority concessionary pass. To find out more go to https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/concessionary-travel
Stagecoach also works with disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz and is a member of the Accessible Travel Alliance – an industry leading group made up of forward-thinking travel operators. The aim of the Alliance is to make a real and lasting difference to disabled people’s experience of travel.
Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website and app, is the lead sponsor of Disabled Access Day.
Euan MacDonald, co-founder of the disabled access reviews website EuansGuide.com, the main sponsor of Disabled Access Day, said: “There are around 12 million disabled people in the UK and an estimated 1 billion worldwide. It’s important that we raise awareness of the issue of disabled access and encourage venues to highlight their accessibility on Disabled Access Day. By hosting events and offering promotions to visitors on March 12th, all of the partners involved can demonstrate just how important disabled access is to them.”
About Disabled Access Day
Taking place on Saturday 12th March 2016, Disabled Access Day aims to encourage disabled people to visit a venue that they have never been to before. It could simply be a trip to a local coffee shop or restaurant or to places further afield like famous British tourist attractions. In so doing, they will highlight those venues that have good accessibility, as well as drawing attention to those that need to improve their disabled access provision. For more information, please visit www.disabledaccessday.com.