CIHT /  DfT Inclusive Transportation Award


Accessible Indoor Audio Navigation to Enable Spontaneous and Independent Travel for Persons with Vision Impairments



Travelling independently, especially on public transport and through indoor spaces, can be a difficult and sometimes impossible experience for vision impaired (VI) people. Almost half of people in the UK who report poor vision or blindness say they ‘always’
purposely limit the amount of walking they do outside the house. This lack of mobility plays a huge part in the challenges VI people face: unemployment, poverty and social isolation. Technological advances, including the widespread use of smartphones, have great potential to empower VI people to navigate independently.

Wayfindr, a not-for-profit partnership between the charity, The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) and digital studio, us two, was established in early 2015, with the aim of empowering vision impaired people to travel independently. Wayfindr’s approach is to develop and promote a free to use, open standard for turn by turn audio navigation services.

Judges' Comments
"Enables visually impaired people to navigate (indoors) independently using audio information. Could also be adopted to people with autism, cognitive disabilities and older people. Technology neutral and free to use. Does not require significant changes in technology in existing transport infrastructure. Strong feedback from testers and has been in testing since 2014 – including in London with TfL."


Across all forms of public transport, TfGM take great pride in their goal of “Making Travelling Easier” within Greater Manchester. To help achieve this, they established the Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG) to advise TfGM and their contractors / designers on the practical measures to accommodate a wide range of disabilities in their designs.

Manchester Metrolink: Trafford Park Line


As Metrolink schemes require the remodelling of the highway corridor, they have presented TfGM with the fantastic opportunity to create unbroken routes of accessibility, not just isolated to tram stops and their immediate surroundings. This sets the benchmark for future highway developments near tram routes.


In 2016 Gateshead Council developed a Travel Care Strategy with the aim of ensuring:

  • Children and young people arrive at school safe and ready to learn, whatever their mode of transport
  • Those who are able to walk or use public transport should be supported to do so

Journey to Independence

Gateshead Council/ Travel Care Team

  • Any issues around hate and mate crime are highlighted and reported
  • That any barriers for disabled and non disabled people are raised in a coordinated way.

Independent Travel Training (ITT)
Gateshead Council recruited a full time travel trainer and commissioned Children North East to also deliver a ‘Bus buddy scheme’ to support children and young people to use public transport or walk as an alternative to taxi and mini bus travel.

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