11 April 2023

Sounds Good?

Bing Image GeneratorBuses journeys in Plymouth are going to get a lot noisier over the next few years:

Local bus services in Britain will provide audible announcements and visual displays to improve accessibility for disabled passengers. Under new rules announced on Thursday, the route and direction of a service, each upcoming stop and any diversions will all be identified, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. The aids will be introduced as part of vehicle upgrades, with £4.65 million funding being made available to the nation’s smallest bus and coach companies

Alongside audio announcements and displays, it’s really important that bus companies ensure their drivers are educated on best practice such as always stopping at bus stops when they see a blind or partially sighted passenger and letting them know the number and direction of the bus

“Simple and effective audible and visible information should be a baked-in feature of a modern bus service to help people reach their destination, wherever they travel in Great Britain.”  Evening Standard

Although I would prefer quieter bus journeys myself, especially going to work in the morning, anything which helps accessibility for disabled passengers has to be a good thing and should be welcomed. I Can't imagine that its going to be cheap though fitting the equipment in all buses, as I see funding is promised for only “the smallest bus and coach companies, so I guess that rules out First, Go Ahead and Stagecoach!

The other thing is the short roll out for this scheme. The changes will be implemented over the next few years, with almost all vehicles required to comply by October 2026. That's only three and half years away.


  1. This is well overdue, having been delayed due to Covid.

    This country is well behind when it comes to next stop announcements, which have been the norm across most of the rest of Europe for many years (and in London, Reading and other places in the UK). It's not only disabled passengers that they're useful for - it's anyone who wants to know where to get off. That makes bus travel more attractive. On a dark, rainy night even on a route that I know like the back of my hand I don't necessarily know where I am by just looking out the window.

    Hopefully operators will have the sense to make announcements as brief and unobtrusive as they are in London.

    My only reservation is, and it's a big one, will funding be sufficient?

  2. Whilst a laudible objective, the costs will unfortunately see off another wave of marginal services and possibly a few smaller operators.


Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)