Nottingham City Transport has won the Guide Dogs’ Breaking Down Barriers Award for 2014. This is an award which celebrates the work that’s being done to break down the barriers that prevent people who are blind or partially-sighted from getting out and about on their own terms.
Presented to Nottingham’s principal bus operator at a star-studded awards ceremony in London last night, hosted by TV personality Adrian Chiles, NCT was commended in particular for its driver specialist training in this area. NCT Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith explains.
“As part of our training programme, we ensure all 800 of our drivers have tailored My Guide sighted guide training. This was developed specifically to help them support passengers with sight loss to use our buses confidently. The training has been a huge success, with positive feedback from both our customers who feel they can travel with us more easily and safely, and our drivers who now feel assured they know how to help a blind or partially-sighted person.”
With 75% of its current fleet also fitted with ‘next stop’ audio and visual announcements – the highest figure outside of London – and an intention to make this 100% by 2017, Nottingham City Transport is committed to its aim of ensuring all passengers experience the best possible journey on their buses.
“Winning this award is great, but we get more satisfaction knowing that we are doing the right things to make travelling in and around Nottingham on our buses just a bit more straightforward for our blind and partially-sighted customers,” adds Anthony Carver-Smith.
Richard Leaman, Guide Dogs Chief Executive, said: “The Guide Dogs Annual Awards are a highlight of the year for us and tonight we heard about young guide dog owners like Nathan Edge who have the energy and creativity to make things happen and organisations like Nottingham City Transport, who are doing such sterling work enabling people with sight loss to use their buses confidently”.
Nottingham City Transport is currently raising money to sponsor a puppy for Guide Dogs. To make a donation, call in to the Travel Centre on the Old Market Square or call 0115 950 60 70 for more details.