Blind man furious as passengers on packed train ignore his request for seat

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PICTURES show how passengers on a packed train refused to give up their seat for a blind man with a guide dog.

Jonathan Attenborough said he is “losing faith in humanity” after being forced to stand next to a door for half an hour.

The 30-year-old repeatedly asked passengers if there were any available seats and did not even get the courtesy of a response.

The student from Newburgh, Fife, also blasted ScotRail staff for not intervening to help him during the nightmare trip between Edinburgh and Perth.

Jonathan said it was essential for blind and visually-impaired people to be seated to help prevent disorientation. He was also concerned that his guide dog, Sam, was in danger of getting his paws or tail crushed.

Passengers ignored Jonathan’s requests

The pair travelled from Edinburgh’s Haymarket station on Monday.

Afterwards, Jonathan targeted ScotRail and Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson in a furious Twitter message.

He wrote: “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.”

Jonathan posted two photos of his experience on the train.

One image shows Sam sitting on the floor surrounded by at least four people standing in the doorway.

Another photo shows Sam wedged between two bags as he struggles for space. A handbag is also seen hovering over his head.

The post has angered many people in the comments.

Jonathan and Sam

@Notsobigbryan said: “Shame on every single passenger in that carriage.”

@MSenIt4life added: “I think @ScotRail should take responsibility for this! At the very least give you back your money for the ticket! It’s their train; they either don’t have rules in place or haven’t trained their staff. Either way, they should take responsibility for this; there’s no excuse! “

@Dancesinclogs wrote: “I’m so sorry that you had such bad treatment from @ScotRail and the passengers who ignored you should be ashamed of themselves. Do hope you have recovered from the journey and the experience.”

@Mummasuze said: “I just don’t understand what is wrong with people today, I hope they all feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”

@Johnnib_john wrote: “That’s absolutely disgraceful, passengers also play a part and should have consideration, shame on them.”

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, 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.

“It’s difficult to hold on, to keep my balance when having to stand on a moving train, and also hold onto my dog at the same time to ensure that he is okay in situations like this too.”

Referring to the lack of responde from fellow passengers, he added: “It made me feel very anxious as I would have expected at least a response even if it was just someone saying that there weren’t any seats available.

Sam’s paws were nearly trodden on

“ I did not come across any ScotRail staff on the train as it was so crowded that the train conductor couldn’t make his way through the train until it was clearer. I think the customer service experience has to improve from ScotRail especially for disabled people.”

“I also think that some kind of government regulation around assisted travel for disabled people should certainly be looked at as well.”

Scotrail did not respond to the criticism of them but did weigh into passengers.

A spokesman said: “It’s really disappointing to learn that no customer offered up a seat for Mr Attenborough.

“We would expect customers to keep our priority seats, which are located near the doors in our trains, free for people who are less able to stand.

“We also provide a free assisted travel service to customers who need a little extra help. Customers can contact our Assisted Travel team at scotrail.co.uk/accessible-travel or by calling 0800 912 2901.”

 
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