Scotland’s public transport firms face legal action over access for all

Transport operators face legal action if their services do not meet the needs of disabled and older passengers. The move is part of a strategy funded by Scotland’s equalities watchdog to prevent discrimination and ensure equal access to public transport. The Equality and Human Rights Commission says it will vigorously defend the rights of disabled and older passengers.

It says operators often fail in their legal duty to ensure easy access.
The watchdog is now looking to support people who are challenging this kind of discrimination. It has vowed to back complaints with advice and assistance and provide funding for legal support to help people take companies to court.

Professor Lesley Sawers, commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, said: “Transport operators must ensure equal access to public transport for all. They have clear responsibilities in law to ensure disabled people and older people travel with ease, but too often they fail to meet these obligations. Our Legal Support Project will provide funding and help to resolve complaints but, failing that, we will not be afraid to support a case to ensure that people can enforce their legal rights and seek redress. Older people and disabled people must be able to access and use public transport just like everybody else.”

EHRC Scotland has said it will consider complaints involving a range of disabilities, including invisible impairments such as mental health conditions.

For more information, visit the EHRC Scotland website: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/watchdog-warning-transport-operators

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