Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has welcomed the proposal to extend free train travel to companions of deafblind people:
“I have campaigned for the travel scheme to cover companions for those who are unable to travel alone, whether on bus, rail or ferry, and raised the issue a couple of years ago, when I tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament to highlight the problem.
“Guides can already accompany the deafblind on buses for free, so it makes sense to extend the concessionary travel scheme to the rail network, which will make travelling from the Falkirk area to Glasgow, Edinburgh and so on much easier.”
After unveiling the plans at the Scottish Labour Party Conference, Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader and Equalities spokesperson Johann Lamont said:
“Deafblind people don’t travel easily. They need a guide to help them get to their destination safely. Giving free train fares to companions will make a huge difference to the lives of one of Scotland’s most vulnerable groups. A Labour government will focus on what really matters and support people in these difficult times. And it is measures like this that will make Scotland a better place to live.”
Drena O’Malley, Resources Manager at Deafblind Scotland, said:
“Travelling on public transport can be a nerve-wracking experience for a deafblind person and many just won’t make the journey without a companion. Giving guides access to free travel by train will make a huge difference to people’s quality of life by encouraging them to get out and about a lot more. We would be pleased to see this policy implemented as soon as possible.”