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Background Info

I am campaigning to make rail travel more accessible for blind and disabled people. I am concerned that, all the rail companies operating in the UK, e.g. Virgin, Arriva, National Express, ScotRail and others, have the buttons all in different positions. 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. Even more extreme, I know a gentleman that pressed the emergency button by mistake and stopped the whole train.

I am also concerned that any progress that might be being made to increase the accessibility of ScotRail services 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 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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