Duncan gets apology

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A bus company has apologised to a blind Deeside man over the treatment he received while travelling to Aberdeen Bus Station.

Duncan Ross and Dennis Robertson MSP met Stagecoach commercial manager William Mainus in Aberdeen last Saturday after the Tarland man asked for support and answers to his questions regarding Stagecoach customer service and the design of Aberdeen Bus Station.

Former Edinburgh School for the Blind pupil Mr Ross had told bosses how he was treated with hostility at the bus station and that a member of staff had sworn at him while asking for help. Mr Ross was informed that the member of staff who was allegedly abusive is no longer a Stagecoach Bluebird employee.

Speaking to the Piper, Mr Ross said he felt the meeting went well.

“I thought it was a very good meeting,” he said. “A lot of the issues were sorted out and there will be changes to help people with disabilities.

“There will always be someone available to give me assistance around the station and I will have a direct line to the person assisting to let them know I am on my way.

“I am happy that improvements are under way but there is still a long way to go before Aberdeen gets up to the standard of the bus stations in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The timetables need to be more accessible as they are difficult to read and I am also due to talk to councillors in Aberdeen about getting a taxi rank at the bus station.”

Aberdeenshire West MSP Dennis Robertson said he was reassured after witnessing Stagecoach Commercial Manager giving a full and unreserved apology to Mr Ross for the way he was treated by a member of staff.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Robertson said: “I have known Duncan for a long time and I am delighted with the attitude of the management of Stagecoach to improve the services not only for disabled customers but also for the elderly and overseas visitors who can find Aberdeen Bus Station a confusing and challenging place.”

Mr Mainus said that Stagecoach Bluebird would not tolerate any disrespectful attitude from their staff and hoped that Mr Ross would accept his apology on behalf of the company and confirmed that Andrew Jarvis, the managing director of Stagecoach Bluebird, would be sending Mr Ross a written apology using Mr Ross’s preferred format.

He added that he would provide him with a direct line number to the company in order that if such an incident were to ever happen again he would have direct access to raise his complaint.

Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Peter Argyle helped raise the issue with Stagecoach and he praised Mr Ross’s determination to secure changes at the station.

A full report from Aberdeenshire Council has now been completed and will address the issues raised in the way the station was built.

Mr Ross said he was grateful for the help of Dennis Robertson, Peter Argyle and everyone else who helped highlight the issue.