Thomson Joins Guide Dogs End of Year Event

Thomson Joins Guide Dogs End of Year Event

Published date : 21 December, 2023

Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon, demonstrated his support to improving the lives of people with a vision impairment at an event in the House of Commons held by the charity Guide Dogs.  

The Guide Dogs event celebrated key campaign successes from 2023, including the requirement that will see the majority of buses fitted with audio-visual announcements, reversing plans to close nearly 1000 railway ticket offices in England, a new law to tackle problem pavement parking in Scotland, and extra funding for tactile paving on railway stations. All of which will enable people with sight loss to get out and about safely and with confidence. 

Richard Thomson MP spoke with guide dog owners and cane users about the differences these changes will make, but also the many challenges that still need to be tackled to enable people with sight loss to travel and live independently.  


Commenting after the event, Richard Thomson MP said:   

“I’m very grateful to the team at Guide Dogs for arranging this event which gave a valuable understanding of the issues facing people with vision impairment as they navigate their daily lives. 

“I am pleased to support their campaigning work and add my voice in support.” 


Eleanor Briggs, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns at Guide Dogs said:  

“People living with vision impairment have the right to feel confident, independent and supported in the world. That’s why the progress we’ve seen in 2023 on audio-visual announcements and extra funding for tactile paving are fantastic steps forward.   

“However, people with sight loss still face barriers to living actively, independently and well. We want MPs to prioritise solutions to these day-to-day challenges, including introducing laws to tackle pavement parking across the country, and to end access refusals against guide dog owners. We hope that 2024 will bring positive changes that will help people with vision impairment live the life they choose.”  




Notes to Editors:  

Photograph attached shows Richard Thomson MP with Guide Dog Kelsey. 

  • In March 2023, the Department for Transport announced measures for bus providers to introduce next-stop final-destination AV announcements after sustained campaign lead by Guide Dogs. 
  • The Department for Transport also confirmed it provided Network Rail with £75m to complete the installation of warning tactile paving on outstanding station platforms by 2025. 
  • From December 2023 local authorities in Scotland have the power to enforce problem pavement parking, except in areas where exemptions are made (for example, to enable emergency vehicles to pass). A similar law has been in place in London since 1974.     


About Guide Dogs:  

Guide Dogs is here to help the two million people living with sight loss live the life they choose. Children and adults. Friends and family. Our expert staff and life-changing dogs are here to help people affected by sight loss live actively, independently and well. But we couldn’t do what we do without the vital support from volunteers who work in a huge variety of roles. You can find out more about our services and volunteering for us at    


For more information about Guide Dogs campaigns, contact Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager Chris Theobald on 0118 983 8162 or [email protected]  


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