Thank you for contacting me about the audio-visual announcements on buses.
I do understand the benefits that these can bring to bus passengers and Ministers have encouraged bus operators and local authorities to invest in audio-visual announcement systems for their buses where possible. Previously, however, the systems to provide such information have been expensive to fit and maintain, so Ministers have supported projects to design innovative and low-cost approaches to providing accessible on-board information.
This Bill, currently progressing through the House of Lords, would allow 'enhanced partnership schemes' between local authorities and bus operators to require all buses within a local area to provide audible and visual next stop information. Authorities using the new bus franchising powers will also be able to place similar requirements on affected operators.
You may be interested to know that a Government amendment, which will allow the Secretary of State to require service operators to make such information available to passengers, is now also part of the Bill as Clause 17.
I know that the Government also intends to publish an Accessibility Action Plan for consultation by the end of the year, which will present its ambition for further progress on this agenda.