ACTION has been taken to help blind bus passengers navigate the new Bolton Interchange.

After the £48 million town centre facility opened in September, concerns were raised about a lack of provisions to help blind and partially sighted people.

Toni Forrest, who is one of the four per cent of people in the UK who are completely blind, told The Bolton News she feared travelling to the station alone when it first opened, but is satisfied with Transport for Greater Manchester’s response to her concerns.

Following that article and a meeting involving a group of 15 passengers with a range of visual impairments last week, TfGM have installed tactile letter signs at all of the interchange’s bus stands and a number of other improvements are in the works.

Miss Forrest said: “People with all different kinds of eye conditions were at this meeting to talk about what we need at the bus station.

“We want to have our independence, not to have to keep asking for help.

“Up to now, I am happy enough with how TfGM have responded.

“They have installed the tactile letters already and I know there are more things being considered.

“This is something I am not going to let go, because I use the bus station every week.”

Although TfGM is not currently planning to introduce a speaker system to help blind passengers, which was in place at the old Moor Lane station, it is investigating new mobile phone navigation apps.

Other improvements under consideration include producing tactile maps of the site and putting carpet down at each stand.

Paul Overend, Bolton Interchange Manager, said: “On Friday, 15 local people with a range of vision impairments visited Bolton Interchange to discuss ways of improving accessibility. Attendees were invited through the TfGM Disability Design Reference Group Henshaws and Manchester Guide Dog Trainers. Attendees had the opportunity to explain any issues they faced while using the interchange.

“They also discussed potential improvements that could help blind and partially sighted people find their way more easily around the facility and help them to catch their bus service.

“This feedback is invaluable and, since the visit, we’ve already installed tactile letter signs at all the bus stop stands in the interchange.

“We’re now considering other ways to improve accessibility further in the near future.”

The Interchange was designed with contrasting floor colours to help partially-sighted passengers differentiate between its areas.