VISUAL and audible announcements are being introduced on several buses in York to help blind and partially-sighted passengers.

The York Bus Forum and York Older People’s Assembly are celebrating the launch of next stop announcement technology on the Arriva bus routes 415, 25 and 26.

Members of the group My Sight, York, who are visually impaired, were at the opening event to experience the benefits of the enhanced service that will inform blind people when the bus is coming to specific stops.

Whilst the Government passed a law in 2017 requiring all bus operators to provide information which is audible and visually displayed, some two years later a commencement date has still not been announced. However, bus operators have been encouraged to introduce measures on a voluntary basis.

Members of the Bus Forum have congratulated Arriva for taking up the initiative.

Bob Towner, of York Older People’s Assembly (YOPA), said: “These announcements are essential for people with sight or hearing difficulties, as well as helping visitors to the city who are not familiar with our bus routes.

“All residents of York will reap the benefits particularly at night, when as darkness falls, bus stops are not easily seen.”

Graham Collett, chair of York Bus Forum, said: “We welcome the introduction of these announcements on Arriva services.

“This follows their introduction on Transdev’s Coastliner routes. We hope that similarly-equipped vehicles will follow on other local services and on the new park and ride buses.”

First York confirmed that they would be introducing the service this year.

A spokesman for the company said: “We’re pleased to confirm that we will be introducing next stop announcement technology onto our new park and ride vehicles later this year.”