Central Beds Council slammed for placing bus timetables more than 7 FEET above ground level

"How are short people expected to read a timetable which is over seven feet above ground level?"

By Joanna Gravett
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 4:13 pm
Updated Friday, 4th February 2022, 2:34 pm

Timetables in bus shelters have been criticised for being put more than seven feet above ground level.

Cllr Nigel Aldis, of Sandy Town and Blunham Parish Councils, claims that short, visually impaired or disabled people will struggle to see the information notices, which are positioned higher than the average head height.

Cllr Aldis, who is visually impaired, describes himself as a regular bus user who is "frustrated by some of the daft things the local bus authority is doing".

A bus passenger peering at the timetable above her head. Credit: Alan Bailey

He claimed: “Is Central Bedfordshire really serious about making buses easier to use?

"How are short people expected to read a timetable which is over seven feet above ground level.

"The cramped style also makes it very difficult for people with poor eyesight like me to read them.”

Cllr Aldis told the Chronicle that he has previously contacted Central Beds Council about having clear timetable information in large print, "plainly set out", and that he recently contacted CBC to "query the size and position" of their bus shelter timetables.

He also feels that the information in the bus shelter on London Road, Sandy, could quite easily be enlarged and positioned lower down on the board.

"I'm well over six feet tall but the timetable was stuck in the frame way above my head," he said. "How could a smaller lady or gentleman with poor sight possibly read the timetable?

"The bus shelter in London Road is inches away from a lamppost but there is not a real-time information display showing when the next bus is actually expected.

"Better buses used by more people will not be achieved by a lack of thought in timetable presentation or and no information on when a bus might arrive."

The councillor told the Chronicle that a timetable had also been placed "too high" in the shelter on Market Square, Sandy, and he believes there are others with the same issue.

He also explained that the timetables were put up fairly recently as a new route via the number 72 (Bedford - Sandy - Potton - Biggleswade) was introduced in the past few months.

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: “We are working with our suppliers to further develop our template so that it will justify to the bottom where there is only a small amount of information.

"We have been working incrementally since August 2021 to update timetable panels across the whole CBC area with very limited resources, had we waited for further template work to be done then this would have further delayed the installation of updated timetable information on street and would not have been installed in time for the significant bus service changes that occurred in East Central Bedfordshire at the end of August 2021.

"Further updates to the timetable panels will be forthcoming soon when the design will be more accessible and legible for all customers especially in locations where it would be better to have information set towards the bottom of the panel.”