100 signatures reached
To: First Group Leeds
Make buses in Leeds accessible for all.
As it stands, buses in Leeds are not accessible for everyone, for instance many disabled people (e.g. those with visual impairments or those with electric wheelchairs) find it extremely difficult to access buses due to the way they are currently operated.
I want First Group Leeds to ensure that all their busses in Leeds (this will hopefully have a knock on effect in other cities where first bus operates) are accessible for all members of the public. To ensure that this happens I want First Group's Leeds branch to take the following steps:
A): ensure that all buses that arrive at their designated stops are fitted with an auto recorded voice that announce the number of the bus and which stops it will travel to.
B): Ensure that at each stop, the name of the stop is repeated by the auto-recorded voice, and that the name of the next upcoming stop is also repeated.
C): Improve spaces on buses so that they are less narrow and can therefore accommodate a larger number of foldable seats, so that people in wheelchairs have more room. There should also be an automated voice or clearly printed signage that indicates where the foldable seats are located on the bus.
D): in the interim period while First Group is working on these changes, through their organization First Bus, they should ensure that
1): it is mandatory for all their drivers to announce the names of upcoming stops
2): advise (if requested to) wheelchair users where the foldable seats are so that they know what spaces on the bus potentially best fit their access needs.
E): ensure that the names of stops are clearly visible as digital texts so that deaf people are not excluded by the audio. This inclusion is practiced by some buses in London so it is possible.
F): Reform the free bus pass service so that it can be used prior to 09:30am and after 23:30pm at night, as people may need to use buses at times that go beyond the current bus pass time limits.
G): Make avaliable a larger amount of buses at peak travel time, this may make it easier for people with sensory overloads to use buses.
H): Provide mandatory training for all current and new drivers on how best to assist disabled people on buses (e.g. announcing stops).
I): If possible ensure that buses stop at all areas that are listed on the bus timetable's, if there is a change in stops due to unforseen circumstances make this clear to the public on the timetables and through the requested audio announcements.
J): Provide proper communication about existing apps that make bus journey's more accessible for the public. If there are no existing apps that provide this function then work on developing one - in conjunction with the other points on this list, not instead of.
K): Provide more seats on buses
L): Build bus stops that are nearer in proximity to each other so that those who deal with fatigue related impairments find it less difficult to walk to the bus stop.
Why is this important?
This is important because everyone should have the same basic right to benefit from using public transport. Disabled people should not have to find going on buses difficult or even impossible. Trains already provide pre-booked assistance and announce the names of stations and what platform they will arrive at. I am simply requesting that First Group follows the basic steps I have laid out above so that they can help improve the quality of transport for all people, so that society as a whole can reap the rewards that come from the inclusion of minority groups such as the disabled.
I am not asking for preferential treatment for disabled bus passengers, merely that we are enabled to use buses like everyone else. As it stands I, and many other disabled people find it difficult to use buses and either have to rely on the good will of drivers and/or the public or support from friends and family in order to travel. I do not want to make this a one issue cause by only talking about myself, but I will simply give it as an example, due to my visual impairment I cannot rely on sight to see what stop I am at while on the bus so if I am not told in advance I will miss the stop.
Finally by not ensuring that their buses are accessible, First Group are violating Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities (UNCRPD), clauses 1a, 2a, 2b, 2e, 2f along with Article 19, clause c and Article 20 clause a and clause d.
How it will be delivered
Via e-mail, social media and in paper.