Open top bus company launches fully accessible city tour to the public

2 weeks ago Fri 31st May 2024

City Sightseeing tour guide points out Radcliffe Camera on accessible tour

City Sightseeing Oxford’s world-renowned walking tour will now be accessible for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

Oxford Bus Company has teamed up with Unlimited Oxfordshire to provide an all-accessible version of the city’s popular walking tour.

Unlimited Oxfordshire is a charity that supports disabled people and carers, providing them with help and highlighting issues to Oxfordshire councils that they face.

The new tour launched on May 31st and City Sightseeing Oxford’s guides will deliver the all-accessible tour if anyone with a walking disability is present.

The tour takes 45 minutes and features the same highlights present on the standard walking tour, making use of the city's dropped kerbs and ramps to ensure wheelchair users and those with mobility challenges can safely take part.

Luke Marion, Managing Director of City Sightseeing Oxford, said: “We’re pleased to be able to make our walking tours more accessible to people with mobility challenges so that more people can enjoy them.

“Our values include embracing diversity, socially responsible and customer focused and we are always striving to make improvements to our services for the communities we serve. Making our walking tours more accessible to people forms part of our overall vision to ensure Oxford provides a world-class welcome to everyone.”

Diane Sider, Unlimited Oxfordshire committee member said: “We wanted to ensure all visitors can participate in the tour of the city of dreaming spires, regardless of their mobility.

“Our collaboration with the Oxford Bus Company, has allowed us to extend our reach and impact, raising awareness of the daily challenges faced by people who struggle with mobility.”

Diane worked alongside City Sightseeing guide, Julia Cameron, to design the tour, carrying out trial runs of the tour on mobility scooters to ensure accessible standards were met.

Julia Cameron, tour guide at City Sightseeing Oxford said: “We ensured the content of the accessible tour was near identical to the standard walking tour. The differences between the two tours simply ensure people of all physical abilities have equal access to the experiences City Sightseeing Oxford offers.

“Testing the route from the perspective of mobility scooter users was an eye-opening experience, and an essential method in helping us better understand the needs of visitors who require extra support.”

Owned by Oxford Bus company, City Sightseeing Oxford’s hop-on, hop-off bus tours of the city’s most famous landmarks with audio commentary in 14 languages.

It operates the visitor information point on the High Street, providing information on everything there is to see and do in the city and the greater Oxfordshire area. It supplies travel timetables, maps and books. Plus, discounted tickets for attractions, gifts, and souvenirs. It also delivers private group walking tours which run throughout the year.

For more information and to book a tour visit the City Sightseeing Oxford website here:  https://www.citysightseeingoxford.com/