- Try a Bus Days planned across the country
- Internal awareness drive across company
Stagecoach Group will be joining hundreds of venues and companies across the UK on 12th March 2016 to help give people with disabilities greater confidence in using public transport.
As part of the second annual Disabled Access Day, Stagecoach companies will work to encourage disabled people, their friends and families to visit somewhere new and try public transport.
Stagecoach bus and rail companies will be joining over 100 venues and companies that have already signed up to take part in the day.
Stagecoach’s commitment to the day follows a range of investments made by its bus and rail companies to make services more accessible.
Activities planned on the day include:
• ‘Try A Bus Day’ events at a number of Stagecoach bus companies offering people with disabilities the opportunity to try the bus in an atmosphere free from pressure and time constraints
• An internal communications drive at Stagecoach’s rail and bus companies will raise awareness of Disabled Access Day and remind employees of the high standards of service the company expects to provide all customers, including those with specific requirements. It will also highlight that not all disabilities are visible.
Stagecoach Group’s Director of Communications, Steve Stewart said, “We have done a lot to improve travel for people with disabilities in recent years. As well as significant investment, we have a major training programme for our frontline and back-office teams to ensure they understand better the challenges faced by people with disabilities and how they can help. However, we appreciate that all transport operators need to do more to help build the confidence of people with disabilities in using our services. We are delighted to take part in Disabled Access Day. Our objective is to make a difference every day for our customers with disabilities.”
Paul Ralph, Disabled Access Day Founder said, “Disabled Access Day is about trying something new in a friendly, safe and cooperative environment. It’s great that Stagecoach are getting involved in the day, to help give more people confidence when travelling by bus or train, not just on 12th March but in the future too. The first Disabled Access Day was inspired by a similar ‘try it out’ session, when I became more confident to use my local bus service after being able to try it out and ask the staff questions. I hope that other’s will use the opportunity to try out their local bus provider too.” –
Stagecoach companies provide assistance for passengers with disabilities in the following ways.
• More than 1,400 Stagecoach buses in the UK are fitted with Talking Bus technology and thousands of pounds has been invested in automatic vehicle location technology, which allows for real time service information to be provided to customers via smartphone apps and the internet. As well as providing a cost-effective way to help local authorities deliver real time passenger information, it provides a platform for apps offering personalised Talking Bus next stop information to any customer.
• The interiors of Stagecoach buses were designed with input from a range of disability groups, including those who support blind and partially-sighted people.
• Stagecoach has invested around £650m in new buses and coaches for the UK in the last eight years, all of which are fully accessible.
• Journey Assistance Cards are provided to 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. https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/journey-assistance-cards
• Stagecoach’s UK Bus has 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. https://www.stagecoachbus.com/news/national/2015/july/stagecoach-commits-to-improving-accessible-travel-through-new-rnib-charter
• Rail companies’ offer assisted travel schemes. Employees can arrange train tickets, check accessibility of stations and if necessary arrange alternative travel, relocate staff to unstaffed stations if required and make wheelchair reservations
• Stagecoach 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 the 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.