Making Transport More Accessible
First Group has been working to improve it's services to be even more accessible for disabled people. Working together with community members, stakeholders and representative groups First is continuing to make transport more accessible.
First Group has recently launched a new fleet of buses to accommodate multiple wheelchair users on local Bristol services. Following discussions with members of the disabled community and the Bristol Older People’s Forum the decision was made to introduce a new, more accessible service with new vehicles.
The improvements to their buggy space and the introduction of an additional wheelchair backrest seat provides ample safe space for a second wheelchair on each bus. The new buses have been introduced to 6 routes operating from Lawrence Hill depot with a further 4 routes to be added early 2020.
In Leeds First Group have worked to improve accessibility by liaising with several consumer groups including Guide Dogs, RNIB, National Federation of the Blind and Leeds City Council Access and Use Ability Group. Feedback from stakeholders focused on two key aspects of their buses. The first being that information was not being conveyed effectively to passengers onboard with a visual impairment and that the stop bells were inaccessible to wheelchair users in the priority spaces.
Following this feedback First, working with Wrightbus, introduced an improved Audio Visual Next Stop system and changed the stop bell placement to accommodate wheelchair users on the 75 new vehicles. A further 91 new vehicles to this design will be introduced locally in 2020.