A SIX-MONTH trial of an electronic way-finding system to assist blind and partially-sighted passengers was launched at London Underground’s Golders Green station on July 17. The REACT system developed by GEC Marconi has been installed by the Joint Mobility Unit of the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, in co-operation with London Transport’s Unit for Disabled Passengers. A grant from The Bridge House Estates Trust Fund has been topped up by LT.
Using the radio frequencies, REACT beacons trigger verbal warnings from a small device when the holder approaches obstacles. The system can also be used to direct visually-impaired passengers to ticket offices and station platforms, and help them locate doors, stairs and other station facilities. An infra-red system known as Pathfinder is being tested at Hammersmith station. o