Blind and visually-impaired people using Southern Vectis buses on the Isle of Wight are set to benefit from ‘next stop’ announcements.

(c) Peter Titmuss/
Southern Vectis is trialling a system on two buses running along its routes 1 and 9 – which run between Newport and Cowes and Newport and Ryde. If the trial is successful, Southern Vectis hopes to extend the initiative across its fleet. Southern Vectis General Manager, Matt Kitchin, said:

“We understand the challenges faced by those with visual impairments – particularly whilst they are travelling across the Island. We are committed to ensuring our buses are accessible to all our customers here. “Next stop announcements will make it far easier for passengers to know exactly where they are on their journeys with us. And that should go a long way to making them feel more confident about taking the bus.”

Estelle Thomas of the Isle of Wight Society for the Blind, added:

“We are very happy to have been working with Southern Vectis to bring about the audio and visual announcements on buses. “This will be a huge benefit to sight impaired bus users especially when it is rolled out across the whole island. “We know that what benefits the sight impaired population also benefits other sectors like those who have recently moved, those new to bus travel and tourists. Our bus users are providing feedback to Southern Vectis while the announcements are being trialled. Staff members from Southern Vectis are coming out to speak to our clientele. “We all want to be sure that this service is as perfect as we can get it so we will all continue to work together to achieve this.”