Sociology student petitions bus company for improved accessibility

Sociology student Peadar O'Dea has started an online petition for First Bus to make buses in Leeds more accessible for all disabled people.

Peadar, who has been visually impaired since birth, launched an online petition urging First Group to make a series of improvements to help those who he says currently find it difficult to access buses the way they currently operate.

The petition calls for buses to automatically announce each stop, clear digital texts of each stop for those who are deaf, each bus stop announcing the number of the bus approaching and more foldable seats so wheelchairs have more room.

Peadar said: “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 goodwill of drivers and/or the public or support from friends and family in order to travel.”

In response, Paul Matthews, Managing Director at First West Yorkshire said: “I am pleased to confirm that as part of the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme, we have committed to fitting audio visual next stop announcement systems on all our new buses. Customers can expect to see these starting to appear on our vehicles from the end of this year.”

Read the full article on the Yorkshire Evening Post website.