News Releases

Stagecoach Group supports Disabled Access Day

10 Mar 2017

  • Try a Bus / Train Days planned across the country
  • Local awareness campaigns planned

Stagecoach Group will be joining hundreds of venues and companies across the UK from 10-12 March to help give people with disabilities greater confidence in using public transport.

As part of the second annual Disabled Access Day, Stagecoach companies will work to encourage disabled people, their friends and families to visit somewhere new and try public transport to get there.

Stagecoach bus and rail companies are joining over 300 venues that have already signed up to Disabled Access Day, with more than 1000 events planned nationally.

Activities planned by Stagecoach include:

  • ‘Try A Bus Day’ events at a number of Stagecoach bus companies offering people with disabilities the opportunity to try the bus in an atmosphere free from pressure and time constraints
  • A ‘Try a Train Day’ event hosted by East Midlands Trains to offer people with disabilities the opportunity to buy a ticket, board a train and travel onboard a service free from pressure and in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Stagecoach bus companies taking part in a social media campaign to promote the event and launching poster campaigns to demonstrate how they can help passengers with disabilities

Stagecoach’s commitment to the day follows a range of investments made by its bus and rail companies to make services more accessible.

The company has a fleet of 7,200 buses and coaches serving more than 100 towns and cities in the UK. The company has invested around £1billion in new regional buses over the past decade.

Stagecoach Group Director of Communications Steve Stewart said: “We've invested more than £1billion in new accessible buses and coaches in the UK in the past decade, as well as improving our train fleets. But we know that building the confidence of people with disabilities in using public transport is about far more.

"It's also about the direct, face-to-face support that our bus drivers, rail teams and other employees give to our customers. We want our buses and trains to open up opportunities for people with disabilities rather than being seen as a barrier. As well as the huge investment we make in employee training, these transport taster days are part of our drive to make using public transport as easy as possible for everyone."

Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website and app, is the lead sponsor of the day.

Paul Ralph, Founder of Disabled Access Day said, "The chance to try something new can have a sustaining and meaningful effect as new opportunities are unveiled. For me, and many disabled people, bus travel provides that important link between places, communities and people. Accessible bus services have the potential to make an enormous difference to people’s lives. I welcome the support of Stagecoach in helping promote the message of accessible bus travel during Disabled Access Day and the legacy it will leave."

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Stagecoach companies provide assistance for passengers with disabilities in the following ways.

  • We have invested in automatic vehicle location technology, which was fully deployed across our 7,200 regional buses outside London in 2015. This allows for real time service information to be provided to customers via smartphone apps and the internet. As well as providing a cost-effective way to help local authorities deliver real time passenger information, it provides a platform for apps offering personalised Talking Bus next stop information to any customer.
  • The interiors of Stagecoach buses were designed with input from a range of disability groups, including those who support blind and partially-sighted people.
  • Journey Assistance Cards are provided to passengers who need a bit more help when using the bus. The cards make it easier for passengers to let bus drivers know what extra help is needed. https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/national/journey-assistance-cards
  • Stagecoach’s UK Bus has committed to a charter, produced with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that promises to deliver a better service to customers with sight loss. The charter pledges to help improve the accessibility of local bus services as well as raising awareness among employees of the need to understand the practical issues faced by blind and partially sighted customers. https://www.stagecoachbus.com/news/national/2015/july/stagecoach-commits-to-improving-accessible-travel-through-new-rnib-charter
  • Rail companies’ offer assisted travel schemes. Employees can arrange train tickets, check accessibility of stations and if necessary arrange alternative travel, relocate staff to unstaffed stations if required and make wheelchair reservations
  • Stagecoach works with disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz and is a member of the Accessible Travel Alliance – an industry leading group made up of forward-thinking travel operators. The aim of the Alliance is to make a real and lasting difference to disabled people’s experience of travel.

About Disabled Access Day

Taking place on from 10-12th March 2017, Disabled Access Day aims to encourage disabled people to visit a venue that they have never been to before. It could simply be a trip to a local coffee shop or restaurant or to places further afield like famous British tourist attractions. In so doing, they will highlight those venues that have good accessibility, as well as drawing attention to those that need to improve their disabled access provision. For more information, please visit www.disabledaccessday.com.