TfL and Arriva London host Disability awareness discussion
Recently, Arriva London’s Brixton garage was the venue for a new initiative. In partnership with TfL, Arriva London invited a group from Lambeth’s People’s Rights Group to the garage for an open discussion about the challenges for some of our disabled customers when travelling on London’s buses.
The group of five, Brian Stocker, Christina Watkins, Gina Barrett, Sabina Laher and Susan Laffey, together with their facilitators John Hersov and Laura VanBemmel, decided that the best place to discuss the subject was actually on a bus in the garage. So everyone boarded one of the New Routemasters and the dialogue began.
Nik Partou, Arriva London’s Communication Support Manager, kicked things off with an introduction to the New Routemaster, detailing the reasoning behind the three door design.
Then with the help of Arriva London driver Abdullah Bin Masood, the group learned about the process involved when an Oyster card does not have enough funds to pay for a fare. Abdullah explained how the customer would hear a different sound from the ticket machine and an emergency fare slip would be printed out reminding them to top up before their next journey.
The group then raised questions about ramp usage, how the iBus system works and driver professionalism. They then explained some of the issues they have to Nik and his colleagues, and TfL’s Driver Communications Manager and coordinator for this initiative, George Marcar.
The discussions went on for over an hour and the general feeling was that it was a very positive step for everyone. For Arriva London, it emphasised the necessity for the continued training of staff in the needs of customers with disabilities.
For the group, it gave a deeper insight into the protocols that all drivers are trained for, and the challenges drivers can face when assisting customers with disabilities in busy and crowded environments.
Watch the accompanying video and let us know your thoughts on the value of this type of initiative.
Published : Wed 18th Mar. 2015 - Thu 7th May. 2015
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