GUIDE dog puppies in Chester are now able to learn all about buses.

First has re-launched a scheme allowing sighted puppy walkers to travel for free on all of its buses while training their dogs on behalf of The Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The move means that puppy walkers in Chester can now travel for free across First’s network, when they are with their puppies.

Learning about buses, and bus stations – as well as other important places - is a core part of guide dog training.

Thanks to the scheme, volunteer puppy walkers are able to take their puppies out by bus on as many short journeys as necessary, allowing the dogs to get accustomed to the different sights, sound and smells they may encounter as part of the experience.

The free travel scheme potentially saves Guide Dogs significant sums of money every year, meaning the charity is able to spend more of its income ensuring that blind and partially-sighted people are able to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

Ken Poole, managing director of First in the area, said: “We are pleased that we are able to play our part in helping to ensure that guide dogs can be trained effectively, and that we are able to save the charity money at the same time.

“We are committed to removing barriers for all disabled people, and as well as actively renewing our bus fleet to ensure all our vehicles are low floor and easily accessible in time for the 2015 and 2017 Disability Discrimination Act deadlines, we are working hard to ensure that all of our customers, regardless of disability, can travel as frequently as they wish to do so.”

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