A delegation from Japan visited Bradford Interchange on Tuesday 8 November to see the work going on there to provide dementia-friendly services.
Staff at West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire Bus stations have introduced a range of measures and procedures to help disabled people, older people and people with dementia feel safe.
After a meeting at the Combined Authority’s Leeds HQ, the members of the Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation (Eco-Mo), travelled to the interchange to meet Bus Station managers and Bev Fletcher from the Bradford Dementia Action Alliance.
Formed in 1994, Tokyo-based Eco-Mo’s stated objective is to create ‘a social environment friendly both for humans and for the environment through awareness activities’ and to support ‘facilities which improve mobility for the elderly and the disabled’.
Cllr Keith Wakefield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee Chair said: “Just last month we were recognised by the government’s Customer Service Excellence scheme for our work to develop services for hard-to-reach and disadvantaged customers including people with dementia and the way we support wider communities and vulnerable groups.
“We have been producing Travel Assistance Cards to help disabled and older people when using public transport for some time now and our bus stations are part of the Safe Places scheme. Also the Easy Read information we produced recently to help learning disabled people take part in our transport consultations was described as ‘brill’ and ‘excellent work!’”
“I’m pleased that the work we are doing to provide a safe environment for people with dementia and disabled people is gaining a reputation and am pleased that we were able to share our experiences and practices with our guests from Japan.”
Bev Fletcher from Bradford Dementia Action Alliance said: “The work with the combined authorities has been really useful I look forward to working more closely with Bradford Interchange to recognise the work they are doing to become more Dementia Friendly and welcoming them to the Bradford Dementia Action Alliance.
“Dementia Friendly transport links are vital in creating Dementia Friendly Communities, where people can feel safe and supported to live independently within the community for as long as possible.
“It was good to have the opportunity to share the work far and wide.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority is a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), and also works closely with local DAAs in the five West Yorkshire districts. We are working together to develop dementia friendly public transport in West Yorkshire, and have already provided dementia awareness sessions for staff based in our bus stations across West Yorkshire.
Since 2014 West Yorkshire Combined Authority has produced Travel Assistance Cards to help disabled and older people when using public transport. The cards can be simply printed off from the Metro travel information website and used to let bus drivers know about any requirements they may have when getting on the bus.
Its bus stations are all members of their local Safe Place scheme, and people with disabilities and restricted mobility can pre-book assistance at Huddersfield Bus Station by telephone. Staff can provide guidance for people with a sight impairment or who are unfamiliar with the bus station’s layout and wanting help finding their way around. They are also available to guide people to nearby on-street bus stops rail stations and taxi ranks and also and to help people reading leaflets or travel information.
Visits can be pre-booked on 01484 515736 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). The assistance service is available throughout the Bus Station’s opening hours seven days a week. Calls will either be answered by a member of staff, or people can leave a message on the answering machine and a member of staff will call them back.
You can find out more about this work on the Metro travel information website (opens in new window).