A brilliant new initiative which makes bus travel easier for visually impaired people has been launched across Rochdale.
Bus users who are registered blind or partially sighted can use specially designed fluorescent wallets, yellow bus hailers and bright numbers to let drivers know about their disability as they approach their stop.
The free products let drivers know that they might need extra help boarding the bus and getting to their seat.
Transport for Greater Manchester has teamed up with local bus companies and Henshaws, a charity which supports partially sighted people, to promote the initiative across the borough.
Councillor Billy Sheerin, assistant cabinet member for adult services at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This is a fantastic idea meaning visually impaired people can feel safe and secure when they use local bus services. Well done to everyone involved.”
Councillor Phil Burke, the council’s representative on Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Challenging and stressful bus journeys for visually impaired people will now be a thing of the past, which is great news. It’s no surprise that these excellent products are already being snapped up.”
Middleton resident Kevin Davies said: “It’s heartening that visually impaired people have been thought of. Bus travel will be far easier for people like me thanks to these superb hailers and wallets.”
The bus hailer is a flip pad that consists of bold and embossed numbers and letters, with the braille version underneath. Users select the number of their bus signalling to the bus driver that they need to stop. The fluorescent yellow wallet stands out to drivers from a distance.
All products are free and available from the travelshop at Rochdale Interchange, 7am-5.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am-5.30pm Saturdays.