UK: DfT Introduces Rules to Require Audiovisual Route Information on Buses

The Department for Transport is introducing rules that will require almost all local bus and coach services to provide audible announcements and visual displays identifying the route and direction, each upcoming stop and the beginning of any diversions.

This will make taking the bus more accessible to everyone, including disabled passengers, children and anyone not highly familiar with local bus services.

To help operators deliver on this new requirement, it is making GBP 4.65 million available in funding for the smallest bus and coach companies. Almost all companies will have to be compliant by October 2026.

Currently, there are no such requirements and only 30 percent of buses outside of London provide this travel information, a major barrier to anyone wanting to use buses. Many bus stops around the country do not have visible names displayed that can be seen from the bus by passengers, making information about upcoming stops all the more important.

Roads and Accessibility Minister Richard Holden said:

“Simple and effective audible and visible information should be a baked-in feature of a modern bus service to help people reach their destination, wherever they travel in Great Britain.”

The audio is to be available through induction loop systems and new vehicles introduced after October 2024 must include visual information that is visible to a wheelchair user travelling in a rearward facing wheelchair space.

This government policy was welcomed by the Chief Executive of Guide Dogs, Tom Wright CBE, who said the charity’s research indicated that more than half of people with sight loss had missed their stops due to a lack of audiovisual information.

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