A 30-year-old blind commuter was forced to stand throughout a train ride after passengers ignored his questions and requests.
30-year-old Jonathan Attenborough said he was on a ScotRail train between Edinburgh and Perth in Scotland with his guide dog when the incident happened.
Jonathan asked passengers if there were any available seats, but no one answered his questions and was forced to stand throughout the commute.
Jonathan later took the matter on Twitter and said, “Completely unacceptable passenger assistance from @ScotRail to leave me and my guide dog in the doorway of the train.”
Completely unacceptable passenger assistance from @ScotRail to leave me and my guide dog in the doorway of the train. I asked several times if there was any spare seats and not one passenger responded. Doesn’t give me much faith in humanity @MathesonMichael pic.twitter.com/zpAGR9H2Sd
— Jonathan Attenborough (@JonAttenborough) November 12, 2019
He added, “I asked several times if there was any spare seats and not one passenger responded. Doesn’t give me much faith in humanity @MathesonMichael.”
Jonathan tagged Michael Matheson, a member of the of the Scottish Parliament and Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, and ScotRail.
ScotRail responded to the tweet that he made and apologized for what happened.
A representative said, “Hi Jonathan, I wanted to get back in touch about your experience on Tuesday.”
The representative added, “I’ve sought advice from our Access & Inclusion Manager and also fed back to our station & onboard teams. You should have been assisted to a suitable seat, and I’m sorry this didn’t happen.”
The representative went on to say that they are currently working with their staff to make sure passengers with disabilities could be served in a better way.
The representative said, “We’re currently rolling out mandatory training outlined in [Britain’s Office of Rail and Road] Assisted Travel Policy.”
It’s disappointing that no passengers responded when you called out, but you shouldn’t have been put in this position in the first place. 2/4
— ScotRail (@ScotRail) November 14, 2019
The tweet added, “All new staff, including senior/key managers, will receive this as part of their induction by July 2021.”
Talking about the incident and the fact that no one answered his question, Jonathan said, “It’s important for any blind or visually impaired people to be seated when on moving transport as the movement of the train can be very disorienting.”
He added, “I also like to be seated so that my dog is safely out of the way so that his tail or paws don’t accidentally get stood on by other passengers.”
Jonathan said he did not notice any staff of the ScotRail on board the train as it was really crowded when he got on.
A spokesperson from ScotRail apologized on behalf of the company.
The spokesperson said, “We’re sorry we let Mr. Attenborough down on the high standards of assisted travel that we aim to provide.”
The spokesperson added, “We are working hard to learn from this, and ensure that this does not happen again.”
Jonathan said the company needs to improve its experience for disabled people.
Jonathan added, “I think the customer service experience has to improve from ScotRail especially for disabled people.”
He added, “I also think that some kind of government regulation around assisted travel for disabled people should certainly be looked at as well.”