Archives for News and Blog

Watch Now: Return to Public Transport Webinar

Disability Equality Scotland hosted a webinar discussion on the return to public transport during COVID-19. This webinar was an opportunity to hear first-hand from operators across different modes of transport about the measures they have put in place to ensure their service is safe. We listened to concerns from disabled people, including our membership, about their experiences of using public transport during COVID-19. But also as restrictions ease, we were keen to hear from disabled people about any concerns they have about returning to travel. We were joined by representatives from Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries, ScotRail, Scotland for the Confederation of
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Face covering exemption cards launched

The Scottish Government has produced a face covering exemption card, to support those who are unable to wear one to feel more confident and safe when accessing public spaces and using public services. Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley Anne Somerville said: “Everyone who can do so is legally obliged to wear a face covering where it is mandated by law. But there are some people who cannot, due to health conditions, disabilities or other special circumstances where a face covering may cause difficulty or distress. “Discrimination against people in this situation is unacceptable and will not
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National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2020

  National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2020 takes place from Saturday 10 October to Saturday 17 October and is a national week of action to raise awareness of hate crime. At Disability Equality Scotland we are deeply concerned by the increase in disability hate crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.  One of the key concerns that has been raised relates to face covering exemptions.  Face coverings became mandatory in Scotland on public transport on 22 June but there are many reasons why some people are exempt from wearing a covering, such as having a health condition or disability, including hidden disabilities.
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News: Passengers now able to check real time bus seat availability in one place

From Thursday 24 September, Traveline Scotland is providing real time information on the capacity of bus services for multiple operators across the west of Scotland (SPT) and Aberdeenshire (NESTRANS) areas. This service, a first in the UK, allows passengers to check if seats are available before catching their bus. With capacity restricted on public transport due to physical distancing measures, the public are being encouraged to plan their journey and avoid busy times where possible. This development, which significantly improves people’s ability to plan their journey more effectively and travel safely, is the first part of a phased roll out
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Call for Nominations for Grampian Volunteer Transport Awards 2020

Nominations are now open for the fourth biennial Grampian Volunteer Transport Awards, which recognise the important work of community transport volunteer drivers and escorts. The awards will highlight the vital role community transport plays in allowing people access to health and social care services in the north-east, and the amazing work in the response to Covid-19. Nominations are sought under three categories: Volunteer Driver of the Year, Volunteer Escort of the Year, and Community Contribution of the Year.  The awards are being supported by a variety of partners involved with the delivery of the Grampian-wide Health & Transport Action Plan.
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Travelling during COVID-19

A new campaign has been launched, encouraging commuters to consider alternative travel options and plan their journeys as schools reopen. Extra pressure is expected to be put on the transport network as more people look to return to their workplaces with the return of pupils to classrooms. The Travel Safe campaign encourages commuters to walk, wheel or cycle instead of using public transport, and to travel outside peak times or continue to work from home if possible. If people do need to use public transport, they are being encouraged to make use of live information from the network to help
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Glasgow Queen Street – George Square Entrance

The new George Square entrance is now open at Glasgow Queen Street and is located to the south east corner of the station. The lift next to the George Square entrance is also open and provides ‘step free’ access from street level up to the main concourse and down to the basement, where the station toilets and baby changing facility are located, as too is a‘ Changing Places’ toilet – designed to support passengers with complex care needs. The basement is also where lost property and left luggage are located – although left luggage is currently unavailable due to current
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News: Physical distancing reduced to one metre on Scotland’s Railway

On Monday 27 July, ScotRail reduced physical distancing on trains and at stations to a minimum of one metre. This is following the new guidance from the Scottish Government issued on 2 July. ScotRail introduced steps to keep staff and passengers safe, including the provision of hand sanitiser and face masks at the busiest stations in the country. Face coverings are mandatory at stations and on trains, with exemptions in place. Platform markings and guidance at ticket vending machines are supporting station announcements and messages on customer information screens, to help customers during their journey. People are urged to consider
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Spaces for People Webinar, Tuesday 7 July

On Tuesday 7 July Disability Equality Scotland hosted a webinar discussion on the Spaces for People Initiative. We welcomed colleagues from Sustrans Scotland, Transport Scotland’s Active Travel Team and the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) to discuss the temporary infrastructure programme which offers funding and support to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel during COVID-19.
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Disability Equality Scotland praises new app function that allows wheelchair users to track accessible spaces on First Buses

  Disability Equality Scotland has praised national bus operator First Bus for fast-tracking technology which will enable wheelchair users to track accessible spaces on their local bus services in ‘real-time’. The mobile app update, available now, enables customers across the UK to view available wheelchair spaces across its fleet. This important innovation makes bus travel easier by tracking wheelchair capacity through an icon that moves across a virtual map. The update forms part of a fast-tracked investment in the app which has seen First become the first UK bus operator to not only allow bus passengers to live track the location of
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