UK Government Announces Grants for Bus Accessible Information

The UK government has announced 4.65 million GBP in funding to support bus upgrades that will provide passengers with real-time travel information.

Specifically, this funding will help small bus operators roll out live audio and visual updates on routes to enable disabled passengers to travel with confidence.

£4.65 million for bus operators to help disabled passengers travel with confidence
This funding for bus operators aims to help disabled passengers travel with confidence

The grant applications support regulations announced last year that require all bus operators to provide audio and visual updates on journeys by October 2026.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Accessibility and Ministerial Disability Champion at the Department for Transport, said:

“Buses are the most used form of public transport in the country, and for people who are disabled, they may be the only way to meet friends and family, attend medical appointments or get to work.

“I can only imagine how daunting it must be to get on a bus and not know for certain where it’s going or when to get off, which is why we introduced new rules to ensure all buses provide this information in an accessible way. This £4.65 million is the extra push to give operators the tools to upgrade their buses on time and ensure all passengers can board with confidence.”

The Accessible Information Grant funding is open to applications from small bus and coach operators looking to install technology that will display and announce information clearly for all passengers, including those with sight and hearing impairments.

This technology will include screens, speakers and induction loops that ensure passengers know which route they are on and what stop they are at throughout their journey.

Pete Osborne, Deputy CEO at Guide Dogs, said:

“Accessible buses can unlock opportunities to get around independently, whether that’s to travel to work, go shopping or see friends. But for many people with sight loss, bus travel has been difficult or impossible because of a lack of audio next stop and final destination announcements.

“After years of campaigning, we were delighted with the new regulations announcement last year and we greatly welcome the opening of these grants. AV announcements on buses will be a significant step forward in creating a more inclusive and accessible transport network, helping people live the lives they choose.”

This funding has been announced alongside the government’s publication of the Right to Ride guide in collaboration with charity, Scope. This guide aims to help passengers with reduced mobility use bus, coach, taxi, private hire vehicle and rail services by compiling useful travel information into an easy-to-read document.

For example, the Right to Ride guide provides information on:

  • The rights of disabled passengers travelling across Great Britain
  • What to expect in terms of assistance
  • What to expect in terms of accessibility
  • How to make a complaint if travel does not go as planned
  • How to claim compensation or redress
Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive at disability equality charity Scope, said:

“Disabled people have been campaigning for many years to make public transport more accessible. We know that disabled passengers are often let down by poor customer service, inaccessible transport and a lack of up-to-date information. When things go wrong it can often have a big impact and be hard to know what your rights are to put things right.

“The Right to Ride document is a significant step forward in providing disabled people with more clarity and transparency over their rights and what to expect when travelling on public transport. We want transport companies to listen to their disabled customers and make travel more accessible for all.”

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