A SCHEME for customers who find it difficult to use public transport has been relaunched by a Worcester bus operator.

First Worcester has reissued its free Safe Journey Cards and Better Journey Cards, which are designed to help customers discretely communicate with bus drivers.

Passengers can use the cards to relay a specific message to the driver, such as 'please speak slowly, I am hard of hearing', or 'please be patient, I have a disability'.

The relaunch coincides with National Customer Service Week, which runs from Monday to Friday, October 7.

Nigel Eggleton, managing director of First, said: "Customer Service Week is a much celebrated event and a good opportunity to re-launch our Safe Journey Cards and Better Journey Cards.

"These cards offer our customers a way of discreetly communicating with our drivers. Quite often people want to ask for assistance, but they’re unsure how best to do it. While customers can, of course, just ask for any help they need, not everyone finds this easy, or is able to speak clearly.

"In these instances, these cards give people a way of asking for assistance in a simple, easy and discreet way. The feedback we've received in Worcester from those that use them has been exclusively positive.

"However, they are not widely used. We want to remind customers of their availability, so if a passenger chooses to use them they can travel by bus with more confidence. Therefore, we hope that their relaunch this week, will be well received."

The cards have proven to be so successful that they have been adopted by much of the UK bus industry.

Roland Chesters, from Disability Action Alliance, said: "The Disability Action Alliance is extremely proud to support one of its members, First Bus, in the relaunch of its Safe Journey Cards and Better Journey Cards.

"For many people with disabilities, travelling on public transport can be a challenge. However, right across the country, including in Worcester, we’ve received plaudits from our members who are using the Journey Cards and reporting safer and more pleasant experiences on First Bus services."

Both cards are free of charge and can be obtained from First Worcester supervisors at CrownGate Bus Station, or printed online from firstgroup.com/uploads/node_images/Safe_Journey_Card.pdf or firstgroup.com/uploads/node_images/Better_Journey_Card.pdf