Able2UK Heroes

Government announce grant to make all bus services accessible by October 2026

man in a wheelchair being pushed on to a bus

The government has announced they are putting almost £5 million towards making bus services across Great Britain more accessible for disabled passengers.

From today, 8th April, small bus and coach businesses can apply for a share of £4.65 million to have their public transport installed with state-of-the-art technology which will display and announce information for travellers with hearing loss and vision loss.

The Accessible Information Grant will go towards fitting screens, induction loops and speakers so deaf and blind people can use bus and coach services more easily notifying them which route they are on and when they arrive at their stops.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Accessibility and Ministerial Disability Champion at the Department for Transport, said: “Buses are the most used form of public transport in the country, and for people who are disabled, they may be the only way to meet friends and family, attend medical appointments or get to work.

“I can only imagine how daunting it must be to get on a bus and not know for certain where it’s going or when to get off, which is why we introduced new rules to ensure all buses provide this information in an accessible way. This £4.65 million is the extra push to give operators the tools to upgrade their buses on time and ensure all passengers can board with confidence.”

In 2023 regulations were introduced asking for all bus operators to provide audio and visual updates on their routes to assist disabled passengers on their journey.

Today’s announcement will ensure all bus and coach services can offer the accessible service before the October 2026 deadline.

Pete Osborne, Deputy CEO at Guide Dogs, said: “Accessible buses can unlock opportunities to get around independently, whether that’s to travel to work, go shopping or see friends. But for many people with sight loss, bus travel has been difficult or impossible because of a lack of audio next stop and final destination announcements.

“After years of campaigning, we were delighted with the new regulations announcement last year and we greatly welcome the opening of these grants. AV announcements on buses will be a significant step forward in creating a more inclusive and accessible transport network, helping people live the lives they choose.”

In addition the government has also published their Right to Ride guide in conjunction with Scope, which offers travel information for disabled people and passengers with limited mobility using public transport across the county.

Right to Ride provides guidance on:

  • the rights of disabled passengers travelling across Great Britain
  • what to expect in terms of assistance
  • what to expect in terms of accessibility
  • how to make a complaint if travel does not go as planned
  • how to claim compensation or redress      

Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive at disability equality charity Scope, said:

“Disabled people have been campaigning for many years to make public transport more accessible.

“We know that disabled passengers are often let down by poor customer service, inaccessible transport and a lack of up-to-date information. When things go wrong it can often have a big impact and be hard to know what your rights are to put things right.

“The Right to Ride document is a significant step forward in providing disabled people with more clarity and transparency over their rights and what to expect when travelling on public transport.

“We want transport companies to listen to their disabled customers and make travel more accessible for all.”

In addition to today’s announcements the government is running their it’s everyone’s journey campaign highlighting how everyone can improve journeys for disabled people.

[ The word bus originates from the Latin term ‘omnibus’, meaning ‘for all’. ]

Related Articles

Help support us continuing our groundbreaking work. Make a donation to help with our running costs, and support us with continuing to bring you all the latest news, reviews and accessibility reports. Become a supporter or sponsor of Able2UK today!

Able2UK Logo