Vision Express

On the road to better eye health – first-of-its-kind Vision Van debuts in Nottingham before its UK tour for World Glaucoma Week

Press release   •   Mar 12, 2018 17:06 GMT

Vision Express has unveiled a first-of-its-kind mobile eye testing vehicle, which will hit the road this week to offer free eye tests to the public in hotspots with a high risk of sight-stealing condition, glaucoma.

In eye-catching style, the Vision Van features a super-sized glow-in-the-dark iris, and was debuted in Ruddington, Nottingham. It is the location of the Vision Express HQ, with Nottingham home to over 8,200 residents with suspected glaucoma.

To unveil the Vision Van, Vision Express CEO was joined by Mayor of Rushcliffe Councillor Leslie (Barrie) Cooper, Leader of Nottinghamshire Council, Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, International Glaucoma Association CEO Karen Osborn and Road Haulage Association CEO Richard Burnett.

The vehicle has been purpose built, and with two fully equipped test rooms and a dedicated pre-screening area. Up to 24 comprehensive, free eye tests can be offered on the Vision Van every day it is on the road. Following its Nottingham launch, for World Glaucoma Week (11-17 March 2018) it will visit Brighton (Tuesday 13 March), Chichester (Wednesday 14 March), Canterbury (Thursday 15 March) and Bedford (Friday 16 March).

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson said: “To celebrate our 30 years of trading, we’ve worked with the Road Haulage Association to put on the road a top-of-the-range mobile eye testing vehicle. It is equipped with the very latest in eye testing technology, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which a study has revealed can pick up glaucoma up to eight years before any sight loss is experienced. 

“We know mobile health screening works - the NHS recently reported that stationing mobile screening units in convenient locations such as supermarkets, has prompted a four-fold increase in cancer detection rates, and we want to replicate that kind of success for sight-stealing conditions.”

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The Road Haulage Association is delighted to be associated with the Vision Express initiative and is proud to be operating the Vision Van on its behalf. Good eyesight is vital for any road user but for an HGV driver, their livelihood depends on it. Despite this, there are still far too many drivers who ignore any weakness in their vision, weakness that may well be because of glaucoma.

“Although easy to diagnose, many drivers are nervous of making the initial approach to an optician. The Vision Van will play a vital role in conveying the message that good eye health will actually prolong a driver’s working life.”

Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of preventable sight loss, and research conducted by the National Eye Research Centre and commissioned by Vision Express predicts the condition may affect 3.2million in the UK in 2050, but unless detection rates are improved, only 1.28million will have been diagnosed and be receiving the treatments they urgently need.

Further details of Vision Express activity for World Glaucoma Week is available

To support World Glaucoma Week, Vision Express is also offering a free eye test in any of its stores, via a voucher that can be downloaded from the 12th - 25th March. It will be valid for redemption in-store by the 30th April 2018. To receive a voucher visit:

About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.

With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital
  • Brake