Brighton & Hove’s award winning bus service is breaking new ground once again with the introduction of the nation's first talking bus stops. To aid the visually impaired a number of Brighton’s bus stops will be fitted out with an audible announcement system to tell people what stop they are at and when the next bus is due.
Five bus stops in Brighton & Hove will be fitted out initially as part of a trial and will be tested out by three local people with visual impairments. The trial begins on Monday 11 June and lasts for a month.
The five test bus stops will be Churchill Square, North Street, the Old Steine, Somerfield on London Road and Peacehaven Meridian Centre. Once the trial has been completed successfully, audible announcement systems will be fitted to a further 15 bus stops across Brighton & Hove.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s sustainable transport team have worked closely with the RNIB to produce the scheme. The RNIB have provided the special key fobs which activate the talking bus stops by vibrating or bleeping when the owner approaches a bus stop. The key fob has two buttons: the first prompts the bus stop to announce its location and the second button tells you when the next bus is due.
Chairman of the city council’s environment committee Geoffrey Theobald said, “I hope this scheme offers real improvements to the day to day lives of people with visual impairments. Brighton & Hove is the first place to have a system that tells people both which stop they’re at and when the next bus is due.
“I would also like to pay tribute to my colleague Cllr Brian Pidgeon who brought this idea to the council and has helped it to be introduced.”
Once the scheme has been tested, it will be officially launched by the Mayor in August.
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