Talking Buses come to Sheffield


Customers on service 120 in Sheffield will soon see and hear the results of a scheme to improve journey information.  


Thirty-seven buses belonging to local operators First South Yorkshire and Stagecoach Yorkshire have been equipped with screens and speakers so that stops along the route can be announced to visually- or hearing-impaired customers.


Audio announcements have been recorded by Phil George from Sheffield Talking News, and are triggered as the bus approaches each stop.


The Audio Visual Displays on Buses project is a three-year trial scheme in the Better Bus Area Fund programme. The service 120 route was selected for the trial because it serves the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, city centre and Sheffield University campus; making it one of the key transport links in the city.


On behalf of the Sheffield Bus Partnership, Ben Gilligan, Director of Public Transport at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) said: “Service 120 is an important route, connecting south-east Sheffield to the west of the city and jointly operated by First and Stagecoach, making it a good test of the system. The announcements will also help reassure occasional customers and visitors to the city when their stop is coming up, so they can sit back and relax on one of the most popular routes in Sheffield.”


Phil George, from Sheffield Talking News (STN) said: "STN is delighted to play a part in this project which will benefit many of our listeners and other visually impaired people - particularly since the route passes Mappin Street, the base for the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind and our recording studio."


The 37 buses in the trial are fitted with GPS equipment that works with the existing real-time bus information service to display the next stop name and trigger an audio announcement when the bus is in range of the appropriate stop.