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Campaigners call for single national card for disabled bus passengers

DISABILITY campaigners have called for there introduction of a Scotland-wide card to alert bus drivers to passengers needing extra help.

The move follows the country's largest bus operator launch­ing a new card for its passengers in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  First's free "Safe Journey" card will enable travellers to discreetly inform drivers they have disabilities such as mobility, speech or hearing problems.

The firm is believed to be the first in Scotland to introduce a new card after the issuing of country-wide Thistle travel cards - which performed a similar purpose - ended this year after Scottish Government funding stopped.

Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance secretary Alan Rees said: "While this initiative is fine in itself, users may have to carry several cards if they travel on dif­ferent company buses. This is not what we want. What people need is a single national card which they can use on a variety of transport modes."

ENABLE Scotland, a learning disabilities charity, said: "We'd love to see this replicated by other transport firms."

The Confederation of Passenger Transport, which represents bus firms, said: "One of our concerns was that the Thistle card would disappear only to be replaced by a glut of cards from a range of charities. This would make it difficult for a driver to tell what card meant what."

From a Scotsman article 13/10/09

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Disabilities Fife
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Scottish Charity No: SC 026112