Making bus travel safer for elderly

Lothian bus
Lothian bus

A new multi-agency initiative is aiming to make bus travel safer for the elderly.

Bus companies First and Lothian, Road Safety Scotland, Police Scotland and old people’s charity Roar - Connections for Life are supporting the scheme.

A series of social media messages will be issued by Police Scotland and partner channels outlining the steps to take to get on, ride and then get off the bus safely. A leaflet will be available on buses aimed at those who have a concessionary card and a police-led training message will be delivered to drivers in the Edinburgh, Lothians and Forth Valley areas.

Sergeant Kos Papakyriakou, of Edinburgh’s Road Policing Unit, and said: “Every injury that an older person suffers on a bus can hugely affect them, their friends, relatives and neighbours, even if it seems very minor. They could lose their confidence to travel and thus their independence and they could suffer injury, which could affect their quality of life, or worse.

“From speaking to bus companies and organisations that represent older people, we found that a lot of the incidents where passengers have been hurt could easily have been prevented through education.

“Our approach has three strands: outlining to bus drivers how they can help their passengers get to their destinations safely as well as what happens should there be an incident on a bus; giving simple advice to older passengers to give them the confidence to use the services; and raising general awareness for travellers so they can pass this on to older friends and relatives as well as be patient and courteous to older passengers.”

The training video and leaflets will initially cover Lothian routes in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian.