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Outrage as passengers on a packed train refuse to give up a seat for a blind man with a guide dog 

Passengers seated on a packed train refused to give up their seats for a blind man with a guide dog.

Jonathan Attenborough had been travelling from Edinburgh’s Haymarket station to Perth earlier this week.

The 30-year-old was initially helped to board the train by ScotRail staff but was not helped to a priority seat because the train was busy. 

Jonathan Attenborough had been travelling from Edinburgh’s Haymarket station to Perth earlier this week with his guide dog Sam (pictured together)

Instead, Jonathan repeatedly asked passengers if there were any available seats but did not get the courtesy of a response.

He said that he was then forced to stand next to a door for half an hour.

The student from Newburgh, Fife, also blasted ScotRail staff for not intervening to during the nightmare trip and said that he is ‘losing faith in humanity’. 

Jonathan said it was essential for blind and visually-impaired people to be seated to help prevent disorientation. 

He was also concerned that his guide dog, Sam, was in danger of getting his paws or tail crushed.

The 30-year-old said that after boarding the train he asked passengers if there were any available seats but was ultimately forced to stand for half an hour. Pictured: Sam wedged between two bags as he struggles for space

The 30-year-old said that after boarding the train he asked passengers if there were any available seats but was ultimately forced to stand for half an hour. Pictured: Sam wedged between two bags as he struggles for space

Jonathan said it was essential for blind and visually-impaired people to be seated to help prevent disorientation. Pictured: Sam sitting on the floor surrounded by at least four people standing in the doorway

Jonathan said it was essential for blind and visually-impaired people to be seated to help prevent disorientation. Pictured: Sam sitting on the floor surrounded by at least four people standing in the doorway

Jonathan later issued a furious Twitter message that  targeted ScotRail and Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson.

He wrote: ‘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 @MathesonMichael.’

Jonathan also posted two photos of his experience on the train.

One image shows Sam sitting on the floor surrounded by at least four people standing in the doorway.

Another photo shows Sam wedged between two bags as he struggles for space.

Other social media users were quick to comment on the post.

Jonathan later issued a furious Twitter message that targeted ScotRail and Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson which blasted the nightmare journey

Jonathan later issued a furious Twitter message that targeted ScotRail and Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson which blasted the nightmare journey 

One user, @Notsobigbryan, said: ‘Shame on every single passenger in that carriage.’

Another, @MSenIt4life, added: ‘I think @ScotRail should take responsibility for this! At the very least give you back your money for the ticket! 

‘It’s their train; they either don’t have rules in place or haven’t trained their staff. 

‘Either way, they should take responsibility for this; there’s no excuse!’

A third, @Dancesinclogs, wrote: ‘I’m so sorry that you had such bad treatment from @ScotRail and the passengers who ignored you should be ashamed of themselves. 

‘Do hope you have recovered from the journey and the experience.’

Speaking after the event, Jonathan said: ‘It’s important for any blind or visually impaired people to be seated when on moving transport as the movement of the train can be very disorienting, I also like to be seated so that my dog is safely out of the way so that his tail or paws don’t accidentally get stood on by other passengers.

‘It’s difficult to hold on, to keep my balance when having to stand on a moving train, and also hold onto my dog at the same time to ensure that he is okay in situations like this too.’

Referring to the lack of response from fellow passengers, he added: ‘It made me feel very anxious as I would have expected at least a response even if it was just someone saying that there weren’t any seats available.

‘I did not come across any ScotRail staff on the train as it was so crowded that the train conductor couldn’t make his way through the train until it was clearer. 

‘I think the customer service experience has to improve from ScotRail especially for disabled people.’

‘I also think that some kind of government regulation around assisted  travel for disabled people should certainly be looked at as well.’

A spokesman for ScotRail said: ‘We’re sorry we let Mr Attenborough down on the high standards of assisted travel that we aim to provide. 

‘We are working hard to learn from this, and ensure that this does not happen again.

‘It’s disappointing to learn that no customer offered up a seat, as we would expect customers to keep our priority seats, which are located near the doors in our trains, free for people who are less able to stand.’ 

Jonathan, who has now been blind for five years, was recently targeted in two verbal attacks from people claiming to be campaigners against animal cruelty over having a guide dog.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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