Metroline has become the first London bus operator to sign up to the RNIB’s (Royal National Institute of Blind People) accessibility charter.

The RNIB is the leading charity working in the UK offering practical support, advice and information for anyone with sight difficulties and part of their ‘Stop for Me Speak to Me’ bus campaign involves a charter containing commitments for bus operators to improve service and accessibility to blind and partially sighted people.

The RNIB’s Regional Campaigns Officer for London, Richard Holmes and Natalie Doig Campaigns Officer for the Inclusive Society met with Metroline and were delighted that Metroline were so keen to commit to further improving their services for blind and partially sighted passengers.

Richard said “Bus travel is a life line to blind and partially sighted people in London, who rely on buses to take them to work, the shops or just to get out and about with friends. We are really impressed with Metroline’s proactive approach to making improvements for their blind and partially sighted passengers. Metroline has clearly been doing a lot already but now that we are working together and with their commitment to our charter, we are sure things can only go from strength to strength.”

Metroline’s CEO Mr. Jaspal Singh and COO Mr. Sean O’Shea attended a formal signing of the charter at Metroline’s ComfortDelGro House. Commenting on the signing of the Charter, Mr. Singh said, “Metroline are committed to ensuring that our services are accessible to everyone. We understand the important role buses can play in a person’s life, and we know that buses can help bring independence to people living with sight loss often providing vital access to work, the local community and important services.”

Jaspal continued, “We are very proud to be London’s first operator to sign the Charter and support the RNIB and through a variety of initiatives and events over the year aim to encourage all of our staff to join us in supporting this important project.”

Metroline’s very own London Bus Awards Accessibility Champion Euphema Wallace was also at the event and said, “We can often take it for granted, but buses are often vital lifelines that vulnerable people especially depend on. As a driver, just being friendly and saying ‘hello’ to a blind or partially sighted passenger can be very reassuring and give them the confidence to travel, little things can make such a big difference to someone’s life.”

The new bus charter identifies a number of principles that Metroline has agreed to adopt, many of which we already do and support, to help further improve bus travel for blind and partially sighted passengers. Look out for the campaigns and initiatives around your garages over the year and help show ‘We’re on board’ with supporting the RNIB and our blind and partially sighted passengers.