Vision-impaired disappointed after Canterbury bus changes colour

Environment Canterbury is under fire after a $94,000 decision to change the paint job on its bus fleet to teal.

But it's not just the price tag that's upset some public transport users, it's the colour.

Adrian Page began losing his sight three years ago, with a condition known as Retinitis pigmentosa - he's now legally blind.

He relies on public transport, catching buses four times a day.

"Distinguishing colours can be quite difficult with this condition, particularly green and blue and blue and black," he told Newshub

That's a change from the current system that identifies routes through different-coloured buses.

"Without the ability of being able to read the front of a bus, which is where I'm currently at now, you have no idea where that bus is going," he said.

Blind Low Vision says they've heard from quite a few of their members worried about the colour change.

"Trying to identify a bus with no distinct markings on it presents a challenge and the colour teal is challenging as well its a light colour usually," Blind Low Vision chief executive John Mulka said.

"It's easier for a person with vision loss to recognise a darker shade on a light background."

Mulka says it's disappointing his organisation wasn't consulted.

"Although it sounds like a minor change to the average person it's a fairly significant change to someone with vision loss."

Environment Canterbury said the change was made because people found the multi-coloured system confusing, prompting a more uniformed approach.

When we look around a number of large urban centres around NZ and the world we see a single livery is a consistency across public transport, Public Transport Canterbury Senior Manager Steward Gibbon said.

"With our new buses, the front displays are significantly larger than our old fleet so the route number and route destination will be significantly easier to register

But that's little comfort for Page, who's come to rely on the coloured bus system as he navigates life with limited sight.