One of Community’s activists in Scotland, Alex Scott, has called upon the Scottish government to make trains accessible to partially sighted passengers. You can read more in his article, below, or click here to find out the latest status on our petition on the Scottish Parliament website.
It’s with great sadness that we report the death of Alex Scott. A lifelong campaigner, this was his last campaign, which we are continuing in his memory. You can read Alex’s motivations for this campaign below.
Why I’m campaigning for fairer transport – by Alex Scott (MBE)
I am campaigning to make rail travel more accessible for blind and disabled people. I am concerned that the rail companies operating in the UK, e.g. Virgin, Arriva, National Express, ScotRail and others, all position their buttons differently. These inconsistencies do not just apply across different rail companies, but are also evident within ScotRail’s own fleet.
Here’s an example: in the toilets, buttons in the same position have different functions on different trains. In one train a button might open the door, but in another train the button will do something different. I personally know two people who were trapped in the toilet and required assistance to escape. In an even more extreme example, I know a gentleman who pressed the emergency button by mistake and stopped the whole train.
I am also concerned that any progress that might be being made towards an accessible fleet is being undermined by the fact that ScotRail station employees no longer wear high visibility clothing.
I ask that the Scottish Government does more to ensure that the ScotRail fleet is made as accessible as possible, by standardising emergency and other buttons, using contrasting colours, and employing audible signals. This would help give blind and visually impaired people more independence and make travelling by rail more stress free. I would also like to see ScotRail employees wearing high visibility clothing, so that the visually impaired can find assistance when required. This should be a priority for all current and new stock.
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