Passengers Refused To Give Up Their Seats For A Blind Man And His Service Dog

I’m just going to say it – the world is becoming a cold and loveless place. Every day, when you turn on the news or go on social media, you hear about horrible instances where people in need are just left to fend for themselves. Whatever happened to common decency or kindness?

One blind man was left shocked after passengers on a crowded train refused to give up a seat for him. 30-year-old Jonathan Attenborough was traveling from Edinburgh’s Haymarket station to Perth, guided by his guide dog, Sam. According to reports, Attenborough was seen onto the train with the help of a ScotRail staff member, however, they were unable to guide him to a priority seat since the train was quite jammed with people.

Assuming that he could count on the kindness of others, Attenborough asked the people on the train if one of them could direct him towards an available seat. He repeatedly asked the question, yet was very much disappointed to be met with complete silence.

Understandably, Attenborough has conveyed that he’s “losing faith in humanity” after he had to endure a half an hour standing beside the train door.

Disheartened by the way those around him on the train behaved towards him, Attenborough went on Twitter and called out ScotRail for not intervening during his grisly train ride. Along with his message, he included a couple of pictures of him in his humiliating environment and specifically tweeted at the Scottish transport secretary, Michael Matheson.

Attenborough posted, “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.”

In one of the pictures, his guide dog, Sam, is seen sitting on the ground, squashed by people on all sides. Attenborough was quick to point out that the reason it’s so important for blind or visually impaired people to get a seat is to prevent feeling of disorientation.

Besides making that point, he also stated that he was extremely worried about the safety of Sam, who could’ve had his paws or tail injured by people stepping on him as they got on and off the train.

As Attenborough wrote, “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.”

Attenborough further explained to The Sun, “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.”

He tried to persuade ScotRail to improve its service for the disabled by saying, “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.”

Attenborough wasn’t the only person who was appalled by this event. After he posted his reaction to Twitter, there were several other Twitter users to sympathized with Attenborough’s unfortunate experience.

@KristyBreaks commented, “I’m appalled that no one offered you a seat! What is wrong with people?”

While another person, @mayhassett1 stated, “Jonathan I’m very sorry you and your guide dog Sam were left in this awful position by Scotrail, and horrified not one person spoke back in answer to your question about a seat, being so mean as to stay quietly hogging their seat. Appalling unkind shameful behavior.”

What do you guys think?

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Anastasia is an American ex-pat living in Ireland. When she's not writing she can be found wandering the Irish countryside in search of inspiration. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @AnastasiaArell5 or Instagram @writeranastasia26
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