Blind training at King’s Lynn bus station

Guide dog campaign event with Stagecoach staff and drivers
Guide dog campaign event with Stagecoach staff and drivers

Transport workers in Lynn have been given a new insight into the problems faced by their blind and partially sighted passengers.

A training event, led by Guide Dogs charity officials, was held at the bus station on Thursday.

Guide dog campaign event with Stagecoach staff and drivers

Guide dog campaign event with Stagecoach staff and drivers

The session included three staff being given glasses which hindered their sight before being asked to get on a bus and find a seat.

They were also shown sited guiding so they could recognise members of the public who are being assisted.

Stagecoach driver Howard Yelland said the company has partnered with the Royal National Institute Of Blind People to provide training sessions for staff, so they are educated on the best way to ensure the safety of blind passengers.

The company has disability training every three years and he believes the courses are valuable for both the company and passengers.

Guide dog campaign event with Stagecoach staff and drivers
Howard Yelland

Guide dog campaign event with Stagecoach staff and drivers Howard Yelland

Bus drivers must do 37 hours of disability training every five years in order to keep their licence.

New laws passed in March require special audio-visual equipment to be placed on buses to help blind and partially-sighted passengers.

Bus station controller Paul Elliot said the training was so useful that he is hoping to push for more disability training for all staff.

Gill Southgate and Genene Henshaw and their guide dogs, Yasmin and Susan, were present at the training to help.

They discussed the difficulties they have communicating with transport drivers, saying it is useful if they are directed to areas with free seats and told which direction they are facing.

With only four per cent of blind and partially-sighted people being able to read Braille, the two agreed that some communication is vital when boarding a bus to ensure maximum ease of travel.

If you know anyone blind or partially-sighted who may need assistance when boarding a bus, contact the bus station control centre on 01553 763190.