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Blind Man With Guide Dog Forced To Stand On Train As No Passengers Offer Him A Seat

Blind Man With Guide Dog Forced To Stand On Train As No Passengers Offer Him A Seat

A blind man has said he was left standing with his guide dog on a recent train journey, despite asking his fellow passengers if there were any empty seats.

Disability and inclusion advocate Jonathan Attenborough boarded on a ScotRail service from Edinburgh to Perth on Tuesday at around 4.40pm and found himself standing in the aisle with his dog.

Despite speaking up to ask if there were any spare seats, Jonathan said he didn't get a response.

Credit: Twitter/Jonathan Attenborough
Credit: Twitter/Jonathan Attenborough
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Taking to Twitter, he said: "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."

A member of ScotRail's media team responded to the tweet to apologise for Jonathan's seating situation, writing: "Hi Jonathan, I wanted to get back in touch about your experience on Tuesday.

"I've sought advice from our Access and Inclusion Manager and also fed back to our station and on-board teams. You should have been assisted to a suitable seat, and I'm sorry this didn't happen.

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"It's disappointing that no passengers responded when you called out, but you shouldn't have been put in this position in the first place.

"We're currently rolling out mandatory training outlined in the ORR Assisted Travel Policy. All new staff, including senior/key managers, will receive this as part of their induction by July 2021."

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Jonathan accepted the apology but added that whole experience had been 'uncomfortable and unsettling'.

His post was flooded with supportive comments from social media users, while others slammed the rail company and the passengers who didn't speak up.

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Credit: Twitter/Jonathan Attenborough
Credit: Twitter/Jonathan Attenborough

Speaking to MailOnline, Jonathan said: "The first time it happened to me was in April this year.

"I was in a café in Edinburgh with Sam and a man approached me to tell me I shouldn't have a guide dog. He said dogs should be running free in the fields, not sitting in cafes. I thought he was joking at first.

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"He wasn't particularly hostile, just looking to have a conversation, and after I explained what kind of life Sam has, he wasn't 100 percent convinced but he did seem much more open to the idea."

In a second incident he said a woman left him feeling 'very uncomfortable' after confronting him over his dog.

A spokesperson from the charity Guide Dogs condemned the actions and highlighted that, thankfully, they were 'very rare'.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Jonathan Attenborough

Topics: uk news, guide dog

Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]