TRAINEE Guide dogs will get to travel on buses for free thanks to First Bus.

The company is allowing sighted puppy walkers free travel on all of its buses in the UK while carrying out their work on behalf of The Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Learning about buses, and bus stations is a core part of guide dog development, getting them accustomed to the different sights, sounds and smells they may encounter.

John Welsman, transport policy officer for Guide Dogs, whose dog is named Sorrel, said: “It is particularly important that guide dogs know how to settle themselves on public transport, understanding where to sit and how to help their blind or partially sighted owner.

“During their training puppies could travel on the bus more than 100 times, with dogs that find the initial experience daunting exposed to it more and more until they become accustomed with it.

“The support we get from First, enabling our puppy walkers to travel for free, helps us significantly.

“We thank them for their help.”

Richard Harris, commercial director for First in West /North Yorkshire, said: “We are working hard to ensure that all of our customers, regardless of disability, can travel as frequently as they wish to do so”.