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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Passenger Safety Month

Yes it is PASSENGER SAFETY MONTH here at First and our companies all over the UK are doing it.

No, this is not about hard hats or high-vis jackets, it's about reinforcing the message in these wintry months of rain, snow and darkness that we don't want out staff or passengers hurt in any way at all.

So what are our companies doing? Well we are working with schools, senior citizens, and other groups to make them aware of the hazards and make sure they all take extra care.

One of our initiatives is the Safe Journey Card. This is a neat idea. Many of our passengers have special needs which are difficult to detect - poor hearing, poor eyesight, lack of local knowledge, etc. But in the few seconds they have with the driver it can be difficult or embarrassing to have that discussion with the driver.

So our Safe Journey Card fits into your wallet alongside your regular bus pass or day ticket. When you show the driver your pass you show him this too - and it just says what your difficulty is and how he can help. He nods, and there we are. (There is nothing to stop passengers buying individual tickets using them too).

They are in huge demand and you can download them from the internet.

There are a range of standard ones ("I am hard of hearing") and some blank ones for passengers' special messages including asking to be told when to alight.

We are passionate about safety - not just this month but every month and every day and when it comes to injuries - we aim for zero!



  1. " ....... and some blank ones for passengers' special messages including asking to be told when to alight." I just hate it when someone asks to be told when they've reached their stop. 99% of the time I remember it and they say 'Thanks' but, just occasionally I forget! The route I mainly drive is around a 1 hour 20 minute journey so someone can be asking to be told of a stop quite sometime in the future. When I have forgotten I've receieved the most terrible abuse a couple of times. Including the the argument that by agreeing to tell the passenger when they were at their stop the company had a 'contract' with this passenger and were now liable for his losses! My answer to such requests now is that I'll do my best to remember but can't promise it.

  2. (Repeat of my post to Omnibuses blog)

    I’m almost blown away by how incredibly simple yet incredibly brilliant this idea is. The brilliance is in opening up an alternative form of communication between passenger and driver that is quick and effective, and as has been said above, breaks down the barriers that lead to misunderstanding, and the anxiety and frustration that go with that.

    There are a lot of natural builds to this. For the sake of the image of the industry it needs to be a multi-operator scheme, cards could be available in hard plastic format in health centres etc. Then there are a few other additions to the range that could be added, such as “Please speak slowly, English is new to me”.” Please could you tell me the route number and destination, I don’t read well”.

    I hope drivers will embrace it, and smile or nod in acknowledgement at card holders. Communication is, after all, a two-way act.


    Michael Bennett

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