Support amendment 154 to the Transport (Scotland) Bill

Bus travel can be a vital method of transport for blind and partially sighted people, connecting people to their work, family and friends when driving simply isn’t an option.

However people with sight loss frequently tell us that buses are inaccessible to them. When planning a journey, it can be difficult or impossible to read timetabling information which is often in small print. It can be a further challenge to be able to read the number of the bus in time to flag it down.

We want bus travel to be easier for blind and partially sighted people, which is why RNIB Scotland is supporting Colin Smyth MSP’s amendment 154 on accessible information and disability awareness training.

This amendment stipulates that bus operators should provide information in accessible formats on request, and that bus drivers should receive disability awareness training at least once every two years.

We’re asking you to write to your MSPs and urge them to vote for amendment 154 during the Transport (Scotland) Bill debate on Wednesday, 9th October, in the Scottish Parliament.

Here is an example email you can send to your MSPs

Dear [Your MSP's name], 

I’m writing to ask you to vote for amendment 154 to the Transport (Scotland) Bill.

This amendment stipulates that bus operators should provide information in accessible formats on request, and that bus drivers should receive disability awareness training at least once every two years.

Regular disability awareness training for drivers would do more to ensure that drivers know how to make their service accessible, and emphasise the importance adjusting their service to accommodate passengers with disabilities. A bus service more aware of the needs of passengers with disabilities would make travel more accessible and easier to use.

For blind and partially sighted people, information in accessible formats such as large print is vital to being able to access bus travel. If you can’t read the print of a bus timetable because it’s not large enough, or not available in Braille format, then you can’t plan your journey and access buses.

Buses are a vital method of transport for blind and partially sighted people, connecting people to their work, family and community when driving simply isn’t an option. Please support amendment 154 during the Transport (Scotland) Bill Stage 3 debate on Wednesday, 9th October, and help make buses more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

Kind regards,

[Your name]

Here is the full text of amendment 154

After section 34, insert—

Grants to bus service operators

Grants to bus service operators

(1)   The Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 is amended as follows.

(2)   In section 38 (grants to bus service operators)—

(a)   in subsection (3), after “above” insert “and to subsection (3A) below”,

(b)   after subsection (3), insert—

“(3A) The Scottish Ministers may not make grants to an operator of eligible bus services unless the operator provides sufficient assurance to them that the operator has taken or will take reasonable steps to ensure that—

(a)   any person who is employed by the operator to drive a public service vehicle receives appropriate disability awareness training at least once every two years, and

(b)   information about the services to be provided by the operator will be available in accessible formats on request.”