we're listening... now we're adding hearing loops to our buses!

we are marking World Hearing Day this Sunday (3 March 2024) by unveiling plans to install hearing loop technology to more than 60 of our buses.

Hearing loops, also known as induction loops, are an assistive listening technology which helps people who wear a hearing aid to engage and communicate freely.

All of our new buses due for delivery this year will have hearing loops fitted as standard – and today the we are committing to install the systems on 61 of our existing vehicles based at five depots in Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Our Operations Director Vitto Pizzuti said: “Devices such as hearing aids work by amplifying all sounds – but in environments with background noise, such as when boarding our buses, this can make it difficult for those living with hearing loss to distinguish the words our drivers say.

“Hearing loops enable users to hear sound sources directly by cutting out background noise – they have proven benefits for people with a hearing disability, which is why they’re already part of the specification for all our new buses this year.

“On top of this, we’re now committing to retro-fit induction loop technology to an extra 61 of our buses in 2024, based at our depots in York, Keighley, Elland, Burnley and Blackburn. This will mean approximately 25 per cent of our entire fleet will be fitted with hearing loops by the end of this year – but we’re not stopping there.

“We’re also planning a second wave of hearing loop installations next year to bring these systems to more of our vehicles, as part of our ongoing commitment to improving the accessibility of our buses for all our customers.”

Our announcement comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) declares this Sunday (3 March 2024) as World Hearing Day. Activities and events will be held in the UK and beyond to raise awareness and make ear and hearing care a reality for all.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Hearing loss has often been referred to as an ‘invisible disability’, not just because of the lack of visible symptoms, but because it has long been stigmatised in communities and ignored by policy makers.

“Our hearing is a precious gift, yet hearing problems are among the most common in the world, affecting people of all ages.”

Our buses fitted with hearing loops will display the global standard blue and white ‘listening ear’ symbol, already familiar to hearing aid users worldwide. All a user needs to do is switch their hearing aid to the ‘T’ position when boarding the bus to connect to the vehicle’s induction loop system.