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Weds 30 Dec 2009

Disabled Trade Unionists to lobby to support Bus Bill

Disabled Members belonging to Scotlandís largest public service union, UNISON, are starting a campaign to get their MSPs to support a private members Bill that wants to extend free bus travel to people on the lower rate of Disability Living Allowance, as well as allowing community transport to accept free bus passes.

The Regulation of Bus Services (Scotland) Bill is being put forward by Charlie Gordon MSP and will also allow local councils to step in and put local franchise for services out to tender.

John Nisbet (Chair of UNISONScotlandís Disabled Membersí Group) said ďExtending the access of Scotlandís public transport to a wider group of disabled people is very important in the fight to ensure they get equal access to services. This bill would not only directly benefit those on disability living allowance, but regulation could ensure improvements in accessibility. For example it has already been drawn to UNISONís attention that many buses have no access for visually impaired people with guide dogs.Ē

To go forward, the bill needs the support of 18 MSPs from two of the major parties at Holyrood. UNISON is putting links on their website http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/betterbuses/index.html, encouraging members to sign a petition in support of the bill- www.scottishlabour.org.uk/bus, and to send letters to their own MSPs urging them to back the bill http://www.writetothem.com.