Bus drivers accused of intimidating disabled passengers

Bus

Face to face meetings between drivers and passengers have been arranged

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5th February 2015 by TFN Staff 0 Comments

Mental health charity Penumbra is to work with one of the biggest bus companies in the country in a bid to get its drivers to be more tolerant of people with disabilities.

First Bus in Falkirk will discuss problems customers have reportedly faced on its services with the charity.

These include a reluctance from bus drivers to accept disabled bus passes from people with mental health problems and verbal intimidation towards those using the buses.

The project will bring drivers face to face with people with first-hand experience of mental health problems at a series of workshops this month to work through the difficulties faced when using public transport.

William Wright, assistant support manager from Penumbra, said: “Penumbra Falkirk actively promotes recovery for those with mental health problems, and the organisation wishes to encourage drivers to think about their responses and attitudes and how they impact on those with mental health problems.

The use of buses is vital to many people’s day to day lives and no one should face discrimination when trying to get around

“We aim to increase driver knowledge and understanding of mental health and symptoms and behaviours that might be exhibited on their bus.”

Jim Brennan, depot operations manager for First Bus in Larbert, welcomed the partnership.

He said: “Our partnership with Penumbra is important to help our drivers understand the needs of others and how social integration is vital. It also allows Penumbra to see the behind the scenes of First Bus training and the reasons why our drivers need to understand the importance of running a regular on time service, that all can rely on.”

The project has been funded by See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Judith Robertson, See Me programme director, said: “The use of buses is vital to many people’s day to day lives and no one should face discrimination when trying to get around.” 

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