New card helps vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple use pub­lic trans­port

The Oban Times - - News -

A NEW as­sis­tance card to help peo­ple in the High­lands and Is­lands with dis­abil­i­ties get around eas­ier was launched on Skye last week.

HITRANS This­tle As­sis­tance Card is de­signed to help those who have dif­fi­culty us­ing pub­lic trans­port be­cause of their age, dis­abil­ity or ill­ness.

HITRANS, the re­gional trans­port part­ner­ship for the High­lands and Is­lands, has in­tro­duced the card to al­low pas­sen­gers to in­form drivers about any spe­cial re­quire­ments they have be­fore they travel.

Card­hold­ers se­lect from a list of stick­ers the dis­abil­i­ties they have, such as sight or mo­biltiy, and at­tach these to the front of the card.

The holder can also in­di­cate one of the fol­low­ing mes­sages; please wait for me to sit down, please talk slowly and clearly, let me know when we ar­rive at...

On the back of the card there is room for any other in­for­ma­tion which may be use­ful for the driver to know.

The scheme was launched in Kyleakin, Skye, by Coun­cil­lor Au­drey Sin­clair, coun­cil­lor for Wester Ross, Strath­p­ef­fer and Lochalsh and a mem­ber of the HITRANS Board.

She said: ‘Peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties of­ten need a lit­tle more time to get on and off pub­lic trans­port.

‘The aim of the HITRANS This­tle As­sis­tance Card is to help any­one who has a dif­fi­culty in us­ing pub­lic trans­port be­cause of their age, dis­abil­ity or ill­ness.

‘It will quickly and eas­ily tell the op­er­a­tor about any ex­tra help they may need.’

Char­lene Macleod, who runs Kyleakin Con­nec­tions, a char­ity based in the Old School in Kyleakin, said: ‘One of our day care users had raised the need for some­thing like this last year so I can see how it will en­cour­age any­one with a dis­abil­ity or con­cerned about trav­el­ling in­de­pen­dently to gain the free­dom that us­ing pub­lic trans­port can bring.’

Iain Beaton, area man­ager for Stage­coach North High­land, wel­comed the new card and com­mented: ‘While many of our drivers know reg­u­lar lo­cal pas­sen­gers very well and pro­vide the help they re­quire, this card will make jour­neys eas­ier for those in most need.’

Char­lene Macleod, man­ager of Kyleakin Con­nec­tions, HITRANS board mem­ber Coun­cil­lor Au­drey Sin­clair, Stage­coach Area Man­ager Iain Beaton and mem­bers of the Day Care cen­tre at Kyleakin at the launch of the HITRANS This­tle As­sis­tance Card for Pub­lic Trans­port.

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