Bus operator and Peterborough’s blind and partially sighted community tackle key issues at debate

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Representatives from Peterborough’s blind and partially sighted community have met with representatives from the wider region and the largest local bus operator at a ‘round-table discussion’ to consider some of the key issues they face with public transport.

The group, including representatives from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, LOOK, Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council, Sight Concern Bedfordshire, Camsight, Health Watch and RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) met with Stagecoach East to consider issues such as access, safety, the implications of electric buses and giving feedback.

Moreover, since the round-table, plans have started to be put in place for drop-in days where people with sight loss will come to local bus depots to talk with Stagecoach East colleagues, and ‘swap with me’ days where colleagues will get an appreciation of how it is to live as a blind or partially sighted person.

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Ian de Chastelain, Training Manager of Stagecoach East, said: “I firmly believe that we already do a huge amount of good work in how we welcome people with sight loss onto our services – our drivers and the whole team are proud to serve our local communities, and work very hard to do so.

Blind and partially sighted representatives meet Stagecoach EastBlind and partially sighted representatives meet Stagecoach East
Blind and partially sighted representatives meet Stagecoach East

“However, we should always be prepared to listen because there will always be things to learn, and there are certainly some very important messages that I will take away from this discussion.”

Samantha Leftwich, Engagement Manager – East at the Thomas Pocklington Trust agreed: “It was great to work collaboratively with other national and local charities across the region to have discussions with a number of teams at Stagecoach East.

"We already have plans to work with Stagecoach East to raise awareness of living with a vision impairment with their staff and drivers through 'Swap With Me’ events and starting conversations with staff through pop-up and drop-in events at their depots.

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“Stagecoach East have been great at engaging with us and we look forward to continuing our work across the region working collaboratively to improve services for blind and partially sighted people."

If you would like to find out more about the help and support available locally to blind and partially sighted people, please go to:

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