Blind and partially sighted in Norfolk to be given free bus passes

Registered blind and partially sighted people in Norfolk will soon be receiving bus passes which will allow them to travel for free at any time of the day.

Norfolk County Council is reinstating the concession from April 1, following a campaign by the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB) and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Councillors had withdrawn the service as a cost-cutting measure, leaving blind people without free bus transport before 9.30am.

But blind bus users said they relied on the buses to get to work, to hospital appointments or to shops before they became busy.

Following representations by the charities, the decision was reversed by the full council in December and passes. carrying a 24/7 clock face symbol to show bus drivers they are eligible all day, will be sent out to those who qualify for them over the next couple of weeks.

Chris Maule-Oatway, the NNAB's equipment adviser, who led the reinstatement campaign, said: 'This will be welcomed by many blind people who need to use the bus before 9.30am and enables them to maintain their independence and dignity.'

Registered blind people who do not receive their new pass by April 1, or feel they qualify for one, should call Norfolk County Council's customer service centre on 0344 800 8020.

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