North East bus operators are holding a special event to showcase accessibility on local bus services.
Operators Go North East, Arriva and Stagecoach will be displaying a range of their latest accessible buses at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on Saturday 14 September, 11am-3pm, working with partners from across the region.
The event is being supported by Nexus, Newcastle City Council, and the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). It will allow people to discuss bus accessibility issues directly with staff, and see the accessible buses up close.
Chair of the NEbus operators association and Managing Director of Go North East, Martijn Gilbert said: “The accessibility of bus services is vital to ensuring that everyone, no matter their personal circumstances, can use them as an important service which connects communities and provides access to employment, education, healthcare, retail and more.
“There has been a huge investment in fully accessible and low emission buses in recent years, as well as driver training.
“We want to hear from bus users about their experiences, as well as being on hand to show just how good today’s buses are and answer any questions, so that we can work to make services even more accessible and encourage a greater shift to lower carbon public transport journeys.”
Cllr Joyce McCarty, deputy leader at Newcastle City Council, said: “Affordable, accessible bus travel is vital to the city’s economy and even more important as we work to encourage more people out of their cars on to public transport to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
“This event is an opportunity for people, who might be unsure about using public transport, to come along and find out more.
“There will be accessible vehicles and staff on hand to answer questions and to provide help and advice.
“We know that for many people this kind of support and reassurance can make a big difference in terms of their confidence in using public transport, which in turn can have a huge impact on their independence and quality of life.”
Head of Bus Services at Nexus, Nicola Cheetham, said: “This event is a great opportunity to meet bus passengers face to face and hear their feedback. Improving accessibility for people with disabilities is of paramount importance for the whole of the public transport industry.”
The accessible buses will be situated outside of Peacock Hall at the RVI, within the hospital grounds and nearby toilets and refreshment facilities will be available. The event is being hosted by event partner NHS Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital Trust.
The RVI is situated near to Eldon and Haymarket bus stations; and Haymarket Metro station. Parking will be available at the Campus of Ageing and Vitality (off Westgate Road at the old General Hospital site) with shuttle buses leaving the Green Car Park at 1045 and 1115.
North East Bus Operators form part of NE Bus, working together to deliver bus services across the region.