Empowering older and disabled passengers: Tracey Palmer nominated for London Bus Award.

Holloway driver Tracey Palmer’s dedication and commitment to older and disabled passengers has earned her a nomination for the prestigious Accessibility Champion Award at this year’s 2017 London Bus Awards.

Well-known for being a caring, patient and compassionate driver, Tracey is a favourite with passengers and colleagues alike.  Tracey is a passionate advocate for older and disabled passenger transport accessibility and was appointed as the Holloway Garage Accessibility Champion to promote awareness of accessibility issues and help empower passengers to be more confident when using the bus.

“Tracey is keen to lead by example, she understands that bus accessibility is vital to many, so she always carefully serves the stop so that all passengers are able to board with ease and safely take a seat and is ready to use the PA to make sure people are kept informed; actions that make a big difference, especially to more vulnerable passengers,” notes Garage Manage Fola Olawo-Jerome.

However, Tracey goes further, and “is always first to volunteer to support and participate in our accessibility initiatives, she really understands that by being a champion for accessibility she is able to share information with customers to help improve their experience and build their confidence, and, also share information with colleagues so that they are making sure our services are accessible to all” adds Fola.   After participating in such sessions, Tracey can be seen all over the garage speaking with colleagues and sharing experiences to really reach drivers and make a difference to the service provided. As a result of such enthusiasm and support Tracey became the natural choice to represent Metroline at subsequent events including those organised by TfL for local disability groups in March 2017.

Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) representatives recently watched Tracey in action at a ‘Swap with me event’ and pointed out that not only was Tracey a very knowledgeable and professional driver, but she was incredibly concerned about ensuring that visually impaired participants were able to voice their concerns, get help, and leave the session more confident and empowered to travel.

“Tracey has an excellent understanding of the issues many older and disabled passengers experience and is always ready to help, and is a vocal advocate of safety and accessibility. She leads by example and always demonstrates best practise for all of her passengers,” notes Operations Manager Joannis Evlogimenos.  Joannis continues, “Tracey brings passion, knowledge, experience and empathy to her role and her commitment to empowering the lives of older and disabled passengers is a great example for us all.”