AN SNP MP has called for a shake-up in the law covering public transport to ensure new buses across the UK are “Talking Buses” with audio and visual announcements to aid blind and deaf passengers.

Campaigners say people with partial sight cannot always make out the number of a bus until it reaches the stop and that guide-dog owners who get off at the wrong place can end up in difficult or even dangerous situations.

However, SNP MP Alan Brown has now written to UK Transport Minister Andrew Jones, urging the introduction of new legal requirements for bus operators to install audio visual equipment.

The equipment would announce the next stop and final destination, to aid people with sight loss, while a visual display system would also be available to help those with hearing disabilities.

In his letter to the minister, Brown, the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, states that “the absence of such a facility can be a major obstacle to people with sight loss, and many other members of society, using public transport”.

However, nearly 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for”talking buses” to be compulsory, with the charity Guide Dogs UK among those demanding a change in the law.

Brown called on the UK Government to introduce a requirement for the audio and visual equipment to be “mandatory on buses providing a public transport service” as part of the Bus Services Bill, which is aimed at changing franchising arrangements for public transport contracts.

He said: “For people with sight and hearing loss, using public transport can be a huge obstacle, often leaving people unable to get around.

“The SNP Scottish Government has taken steps to improve accessibility through procurement criteria and joint service planning, however, the ability to introduce regulations on all bus operators (through amending the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulation (PSVAR)) rests with the UK Government.

“I have written to the Transport Minister, asking for the Government to make the necessary amendments to the Bill before it comes to parliament.

“The move could be life-changing for those with hearing or sight loss – I urge the Government to take these steps to ensure public transport is accessible for all.”

The call for a “Talking Buses” law comes as SNP MSP Graeme Dey lodged a motion at Holyrood highlighting “the essential role” 759,000 carers across Scotland play in supporting vulnerable people and calling for additional support for them.

Dey, speaking ahead of Carers Week, said: “One of the big challenges is in making sure that carers have adequate time and support to look after their own health and wellbeing too and, importantly, to have a life outside of caring.

“We’ve committed to looking at guaranteed short breaks to make that possible for more carers.”