UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK



STUC 2011



Public transport should not just be for the fit

John Nisbet
John Nisbet
The STUC backed a Disabled Workers' Conference call for more accessibility for the disabled on public transport, with more audio announcements, staff training to assist disabled passengers sensitively and safely, more spaces on trains and buses and lobbying to ensure operators meet duties under the Disability Discrimination Act.

UNISON's John Nisbet said, "We are all being encouraged to use public transport, to save the planet. But for those with a disability journeys can turn into a nightmare.

"No more wheel chair space: you can't get on the bus! Only two wheelchairs on each bus you need to wait for the next one! What if that space is full too? What if there is only one bus an hour. Tough luck.

"No staff in the station but you can't see the timetable tough luck! Able bodied people in the seats reserved for the disabled but no staff to tell them to move. Tough Luck! Loudspeaker says the train has changed platform, what if you can't hear it? Tough Luck.

These problems are encountered everyday in Scotland by people with disabilities and it is no wonder so many rely on their cars. But not everyone has a car or can drive.

"Bus and train companies need to train their staff so they understand the needs of all passengers. They may be private companies but they are delivering a public service. Helping passengers should be part of people's jobs not something that gets you into trouble because the bus is late", said John.

"Transport providers receive massive public subsidies; they need to meet their obligations to all transport users. Unless we are saying that public transport is only for the fit, the child free and the young then we must fight to change things."

top | STUC Index