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Guidelines produced by The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) Low Floor Bus Specification and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations have established standards in vehicle design to help make them more accessible.

More than three quarters of all buses in the West Midlands conform to these standards. All new single and double deck buses and coaches brought into service must be accessible to disabled people and meet the DDA Accessibility Regulations. The modern design of buses makes them easier to use.


Low floor accessible bus services

In the West Midlands about 85% of all buses are low floor and wheelchair accessible, more than any other metropolitan area outside London. They are designed for easy access for disabled people, and for parents with pushchairs.

The main access features of low floor buses are:

  • Bright colour contrasting handrails
  • Space for one wheelchair user
  • Some space for parents with buggies
  • Kneeling suspension to lower the front step, operated by the driver on request
  • Ramp to enable access for wheelchair users between the pavement and bus entrance, operated by the driver on request
  • Flat wide entrance without steps
  • Priority seats for disabled people at the front of the bus.


How to use a low floor bus

When at the bus stop and the bus is approaching, in order to stop the bus, give a clear signal to the driver.

Blind and partially sighted passengers can use the Bus Hailer to help them catch the correct bus. The driver should stop the bus as close to the kerb edge as possible.

If you require the driver to lower the step or to put out the access ramp, then you can ask him to do so. All low floor buses have a wide flat entrance, without steps. The floor is non-slip, and there are colour contrasting handrails on the side of each door, with horizontal handrails in the gangway areas.

You should swipe your card across the reader, show your travel pass to the driver or pay him the fare. If you are not sure of the fare, tell the driver your destination. Please note that many bus operators insist on the exact fare and do not give change.

If you are a wheelchair user, a dedicated space is normally located on the right hand side of the bus. To travel in safety you will have to reverse into the space, with the back of your wheelchair against the backrest. The brakes on the wheelchair will have to be applied too, as no additional restraint system is available.

There is a horizontal handrail on the right hand side of the space, with a vertical handrail on the left side.

When the bus approaches your step, you can press the bell push button located on the handrail which alerts the driver that you want to get off. There will be a sound and a sign will illuminate to indicate that the bus is stopping. The bus will then pull into the kerb, and if requested by you the driver will put out the access ramp.

There are four priority seats for disabled people on each low floor bus, which are generally located in the first row of seating, with a sign stating they are priority seats. The priority seats have more legroom than a standard seat, and there is space underneath for an assistance dog. There are further vertical handrails along the length of the bus, each with a bell push which you can press to alert the driver that you want to get off at the next stop.

For timetable information on services that operate using low floor buses, contact Traveline 0871 200 22 33. Details of low floor services are also available in Network West Midlands Map & Guides for your area available from Local Travel Information Centres or from Traveline.

We have produced a leaflet entitled 'Local Public Transport Made Easy - a Guide for New Users' for information on using all public transport services.
Email travelwise@centro.org.uk for a copy.

Smart Routes

Many busy public transport corridors have had improvements undertaken as part of the Bus Showcase initiative. This provided a high quality door-to-door bus journey experience, transforming key bus routes with major improvements to vehicles, bus priority measures and new at stop infrastructure.

In conjunction with the development of the current Local Transport Plan (LTP3) a review of the Showcase Programme was undertaken and a new approach to corridor enhancements adopted under the branding of Smart Routes.

It is proposed that Smart Routes will form the basis for future transport network management, providing benefits to all transport users by bringing together, in a coordinated manner, initiatives such as highway infrastructure improvements including Red Routes, sustainable travel schemes (Smarter Choices), technology (Real Time Information/Active Vehicle Location/Smartcard Remote Fulfilment) and where practical other mode improvements.

The West Midlands has recently been successful in securing money from the government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund, and this funding is being used to deliver Smart Route initiatives along 10 key transport corridors around the conurbation. Co-ordinating individual schemes along these corridors in accordance with Smart Route principles will ensure maximum benefits from increasingly finite resources going forward.

The bus element of Smart Routes will continue to improve the quality of all aspects of bus travel and to make travel easier for disabled people. Features such as low floor buses, accessible well lit passenger shelters, easy access kerbing, improved passenger information and audio and visual Real Time Information will help make bus travel more attractive for everybody with drivers trained in customer care and disability awareness. Improvements to highway infrastructure, such as new pedestrian crossings and drop kerbs will also provide benefits to disabled people.



Concessionary travel passes now operate as 'smartcards' for use on all buses in the West Midlands. You put your pass just once onto the smartcard reading machine on the bus, and when you hear a beep and see a green light it means your pass has been accepted.

Passes do not work if they have been damaged, have expired or are reported as lost or stolen. If you live in the West Midlands county, and need a replacement pass, please contact Centro's concessionary ticketing team on Tel: 0845 303 6760


Audio Real Time Information

Network West Midlands provides Real Time Information displays at bus stations, major interchanges and a number of bus stops along main routes. These electronic information displays provide details of the next buses to call at the stop, including the service number, destination, and the time when the bus will arrive. For people with visual impairment or learning disabilities, we can provide a small key fob device that can be used to activate an audio voice message which provides the same information.

Audio RTI is available at certain stops on the following bus services:

1, 2, 3, 5, 5A, 6, 7, 8A, 9, 11A, 11C, 14, 17, 18 ,18A, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 29A, 31, 31A, 33, 37, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 49A, 50, 51, 55, 55A, 56, 58, 59, 59A, 60, 61, 63, 66, 66A, 67, 71, 71A, 72, 73, 76, 77, 80, 82, 84, 87, 90, 94, 97, 97A, 98, 99, 101, 120, 126, 127, 128, 129, 140, 141, 638, 651, 654, 654A, 900, 902, 904, 905, 907, 914, 934, 934A, 935, 935A, 952, 957, 966, 997, X51, X64.

1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 6A, 7, 8, 8A, 9, 9A, 10, 11, 11X, 12, 13, 13A, 16, 16A, 18, 18A, 19, 20, 20A, 20E, 21, 42, 58, 58A, 59, 900.

1, 4H, 4M, 9, 27, 27A, 42, 53, 74, 81, 82, 87, 126, 141, 205, 222, 241, 246, 255, 256, 257, 276, 297, 297A, 311, 313, X1, X96.

4, 4H, 4M, 5, 9, 11A, 11C, 16A, 38, 40, 41, 43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 51, 53, 79, 82, 89, 120, 121, 126, 127, 128, 129, 140, 141, 205, 243, 244, 289, 297, 297A, 311, 313, X51.

5, 5A, 6, 14, 37, 49, 49A, 55, 55A, 56, 58, 59, 59A, 71, 72, 73, 76, 90, 84, 97, 97A, 900, 957, 966, S1, S2, S2A, S2C, S3, S4.

4, 4H, 4M, 5, 6, 7, 7A, 8, 10, 10A, 29, 33, 34, 39, 45, 51, 70, 77, 89, 159, 301, 302, 311, 313, 651, 934, 935, 935A, 997, X51.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 10, 11, 25, 25A, 26, 27, 27A, 32, 33, 62, 62A, 81, 89, 126, 255, 256, X1.

If you are a West Midlands resident and use the above bus services and think you may be eligible to receive a key fob - contact:

Customer Relations
Centro House
16 Summer Lane
B19 3SD

Tel: 0121 214 7214 Email customerrelations@centro.org.uk


Heart of England Taxibus

A Taxibus service operates within the rural area between Solihull and Coventry, and offers an efficient door to door service for local residents. Taxibus links into conventional bus and rail services and uses large accessible minibuses that can accommodate one wheelchair conforming to ISO 7193.

The service operates between the hours of 0800 and 1845 (last pick up time) Monday to Friday; and 0900 to 15:45 on Saturday.

Passengers must pre-register with the operator to use the service and trips are pre-booked.

The service is free to concessionary pass holders, and network and other passes can be used too. Cash fares are calculated on a mileage basis, and are similar to normal bus service fares.

For details call Heart of England Taxibus Tel: 0121 782 9322

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