McGill’s Renfrewshire bus drivers took part in a training to understand the experiences of blind and partially sighted passengers.

The drivers engaged in a Swap-With-Me event on January 30 where supporters of national sight loss charity RNIB Scotland voiced the difficulties they face when using public transport.

Neil Dryden, HR Training and Recruitment director for McGill’s Buses, said: “The Swap with Me event has been a great opportunity for our team to learn more about the diverse needs of our customers with visual impairments.

“We’re excited to continue working with RNIB Scotland to host regular training events across the McGill’s Bus Group, building on our training, making our buses more accessible and improving our customer experience for all.”

The Gazette:


The event, held at Johnstone Depot, gave the drivers the chance to wear sim-specs, glasses designed to mimic varying eye conditions. This in turn helped the drivers understand the challenges blind and partially sighted passengers face while hailing a bus, purchasing tickets and boarding.

Drivers also discussed their roles and their part in making travel as convenient as possible.

Those with sight loss were given a chance to sit in the driver's cabin to understand the job from a new perspective.


The Gazette: Georgea Strachan, a blind bus user, enjoyed the conversational and informal event

Georgea Strachan, an RNIB Scotland supporter who participated, said: "I really liked how conversational and informal it was because it allowed the drivers to talk honestly about their own perspectives, as well as us talking about things we find difficult when taking the bus.

“It was very isolating sitting the driver’s cabin, you’re completely sealed in – there's only a small hole for you to help someone guide their hand towards the card machine, so I can see why it might be awkward for drivers.

“I hope that the drivers understand that blindness isn’t black and white, it is a spectrum. I don’t want them to be scared of all this information we’ve given them - just to use it in their training, and going forward to be more aware, and to help people in the future and keep them safe.”