Bus users join campaign to make travel safer
Following the United Nation’s Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Bus Users UK has joined forces with Women in Transport to highlight how we can all help to make public transport safer for everyone.
The two organisations have come up with an action plan ‘Making Public Transport Safer’for people travelling, working or running bus services in order to remove barriers to travel and encourage more people to get on board. It includes advice on how to spot the signs that someone is being harassed or abused, what action to take, and what operators can do to understand and improve the passenger experience.
Women make more bus journeys than men and tend to be the primary carers of young children and older relatives. As a result, they are often reliant on buses to provide vital access to education, medical appointments, shops and employment.
Improving safety while travelling not only makes buses more accessible, it makes them more attractive, increasing the potential for modal shift with all the associated environmental, social and economic benefits.
Dawn Badminton-Capps, Bus Users Director for England, wants everyone to feel safer when travelling: “We all have a role to play in making buses, stops and stations safer and more attractive. The simplest of acts like making eye contact with someone who looks uncomfortable or calling out inappropriate behaviour can make people feel safer and less alone. You don’t need to be a hero and put yourself in danger but by looking out for each other, we can improve the journey for everyone.”
Sonya Byers, CEO from Women in Transport said: “The research from Transport Champions for the Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, Laura Shoaf and Anne Shaw, demonstrated that increasing safety across transport is vital to unlocking opportunities for women and girls. Improving safety across transport is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach but there are small practical actions that each of us can take as individuals. In the longer term, continuing to increase representation of women in our transport workforce will contribute to making our bus and other transport networks safer for everyone.”