Simulation suits for bus drivers to better understand challenges

Working with Age UK, Southern Vectis drivers have donned simulation suits to better understand the challenges faced by elderly customers.

southern vectis driver

Paula shares this latest news from Southern Vectis. Ed

Southern Vectis has been working in partnership with Age UK to ensure its services are accessible for customers with dementia, sensory impairments and mobility issues.

The bus operator already offers safe havens and safe journey cards to make travelling in the region a more comfortable experience for older people. And now its drivers are undergoing special training as part of the Age Friendly Island project, a multi-partner project led by Age UK Isle of Wight and funded by Big Lottery.

Southern Vectis operations manager, Steve Roscoe, said,

“We are committed to improving travel for people with dementia – and that includes training our drivers to be even more aware of how older people, and those with mobility and sensory issues, may struggle to move from place to place.

“Age UK has developed a special Age Friendly session, which includes the opportunity for our team to wear simulation suits, glasses and ear defenders. They have been experiencing how a large number of people struggle on a daily basis.

“Our Customer Promise ambassadors were the first to try out the training session – but it will be rolled out across the entire workforce over the coming months.”

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Southern Vectis Driver

Emma Lincoln, Age UKIW’s Age Friendly Island development officer added:

“Southern Vectis has come a long way, working with the Age Friendly Island team in this ground-breaking initiative.

“It’s the first of its kind within the UK’s transport industry, and we’re impressed by Southern Vectis’ willingness to make improvements for its older passengers. The firm has clearly been doing a lot already – including tips for safer travel agreed by the Age Friendly Island steering group – and I’m delighted by the way our partnership is progressing.”

For more information about Age UK, please visit AgeUK Website And for more information about Southern Vectis, visit our Website.

Friday, 21st October, 2016 7:48am



Filed under: Bus, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Travel

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7 Comments on "Simulation suits for bus drivers to better understand challenges"

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Mrs Retired Hack

Good idea. A lot of people would benefit from trying those suits, goggles etc, to get an idea of how the elderly and infirm struggle on a daily basis.

I agree, what a great idea! I would hope this will be used on *moving* buses, and while nursing a full bag and perhaps a walking frame too. As well, getting onto a bus that way and having it move off before the role-player has sat down. Btw, when I have used buses in cool and cold weather, a big thing that has struck me as a… Read more »

The moving off before the passenger is seated and making the bus cold is the cunning plan by younger generation bus drivers to eradicate the perceived devils’ incarnate who hog large houses and spend fat pensions.

D. Sewell
Can I also add, having experienced being flung out of my seat recently because the driver had to brake hard, seat belts would be a great idea, where there is nothing to hold onto (front) seats, upstairs especially, as I know kids like to sit up the front ! God forbid if driver had to brake hard. Can you imagine if a visually impaired / disabled person… Read more »
Having been involved in a bus crash (a rail replacement bus service crashed in to the train station – I have wonderful luck!), I’ve often wondered why buses don’t have either seat belts or high-backed rear facing seats. It’s probably the low incidence of crashes combined with the high cost of retro-fitting the necessary changes. But the low incidence rate didn’t help on the day I was… Read more »
Strikes me you have to be very fit to use buses, but even that may not have helped Daveiow and D.Sewell. Back-half bus seats tend to be raised up high, making farther to fall when the bus brakes suddenly, (I can’t recall if that’s so here), and seats themselves are so hard one bounces about on them at the best of times. It can be a gymnastic… Read more »
I think it’s worth remembering that although some bus journeys feel like one of Indiana Jones’ more perilous adventures, the benefits far outweigh the risks! Sitting alone in a car, you can sometimes forget the pure joy of bus travel. Alone in the car, you need to concentrate rather than taking in the scenery. Alone in the car, you have Radio 4 for company. Wonderful though that… Read more »