This is a picture from the internet of Reading (in Berkshire) bus ‘terminal’ stops.Spot the No 1 to Newbury stop….don’t see it? nor did I when I was there yesterday.
Firstly I must say that Reading is upgrading its service into colour coded bus lines. Each colour has a different area. Newbury bus line is Jetblack where the buses are grey and black, some of the newer buses being grey, but no problem.
So I had a trip to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and travelled into Reading by bus. Because it was before 9 am I had to pay £5 single because my disabled bus pass card does not start till after 9.30am, something Newbury Council has changed to save money. It takes a full hour on the bus so I guess that is not a bad price. When I get to Reading I get off and then have to look for another bus to take me to the hospital. I had done some research and thought a number 19b would be suitable……but none of the bus stops have any signs telling you what buses stop there! As you can see on the map Station Road has about six bus stops/shelters but all without any signs. All the time there is a steady flow of different coloured buses passing, stopping, then carrying on. As to where they are going that remains a total mystery to any visiting stranger to the town.
I am pain because of my fibromyalgia and I was feeling quite stressed out by now because I don’t know Reading at all having only visited the town twice before, so I walked up and down looking for signs to tell me where the hell all these buses were heading to. Nope, nothing.
Fortunately there were some drivers standing around chatting and I asked them what to do and they pointed me to a bus which would take me where I was going. I got on a bus, got off and then proceeded to navigate the hospital. No it wasn’t a 19b but it was going where I wanted it to!
So I tweeted to Reading buses:
@reading_buses Your bus stops are abysmal near the centre. It is so hard to know where the hell they are when you have dementia. No signs
- New conversation
Hi Megga, We can certainly understand your frustration. All bus stops are coded and we are planning on adding maps to all stops to help.
The letter says: Main x-ray department….. so I follow signs up to the second floor (this is a weirdly set out hospital believe me) only to realise that it isn’t the right place. So I look at the letter again and further down it reads ‘the Mammography department is on the the first floor’ So it is the Main X-ray department in the Radiography department!!!! How many MAIN X-RAY DEPARTMENTS have they got for goodness sake!
What I want is a bullet pointed ‘letter’ that has roughly these bits of information on:
A Heading With Appointment DATE and TIME
- Department name e.g. Radiography – Mammography,
- Main X-ray of Radiography department
- Detail of how to contact the department if need to cancel or change appointment – with Telephone number etc.
- Instructions: Arrive 15 mins early for whatever reason
- Do I need to bring anything with me? No
- What to wear: You will need to remove your top.
- How long will this take: 15 mins
- When will I get the results: Result will be sent to your GP/consultant may be able to talk to you at the time of the appointment.
- And whatever else is necessary for the appointment……
How to get to the hospital: A separate piece of paper showing:
- bus services
- small immediate road map
- Bus service numbers and stops outside of hospital
- Map of Hospital Departments
I find it hard to wade through all the words of a letter these days. I am only really interested in the information that I need. I do believe that this is not just about dementia because there must be other people who struggle to read standard letters that have too many superfluous words on. This is something I will take to my DEEP – Empowerment Group I think.
By the way, the staff in the hospital and are lovely even though every one of them had absolutely freezing cold hands! They could do with a small hand warmer in every room.
6 thoughts on “Reading Buses and Dementia friendly signs and instructions”
Gill, I think it’s amazing that you are able to navigate all these buses – Kudos to you for notifying the bus system of changes they need to make it dementia friendly!
I do a lot of research on the net before I go places these days Paulan. I usually write down a route, train or bus times and numbers, even with a back up plan! I use navigating route planners on my phone also. Seems a lot for a journey but it does work for me even though it stresses me out.
Wow! That was an ordeal but so happy you made it there and back again 🙂
I thought I would write about the little everyday things which feel more difficult these days. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I don’t have dementia but I get incredibly stressed travelling in places I don’t know. I’ll be in London next month and already feeling under pressure about getting on the underground – I don’t even know how to buy a ticket. Last time I was with someone and let them do whatever had to be done. Then, I have to walk from the tube station to where I’m staying and next day walk from there to where the Bloggers’ Bash is being held. I will have many sheets of paper with step by step directions. I can’t imagine how much more difficutl it must be when you have dementia and are in pain from the Fibromyaligia.
Good for you to take action about it.
If you have a smart phone you can download a Tube Line app. This is how I navigate round London, still stressful but at least I don’t worry about not knowing how to get from A to B and on which line I should be on. The one I use is Tube Map London Underground it has a route planner which helps.
I also use google maps with a walking map to show me where I should be going…not to say it can sometimes be misleading though!
Bloggers Bash sounds fun, hope you have a great time. 🙂