Union demands stronger legal protection for Falkirk area bus drivers after Elgin fatality

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Unite the union is demanding greater legal protection for bus drivers in Falkirk and elsewhere following recent events in Elgin.

A bus driver named as Keith Rollinson was working at the time on a Stagecoach bus when the alleged assault is said to have taken place.

Unite extended its deep and sincere condolences to the family of Mr Rollinson, who was a member of the union.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The appalling news that Mr Rollinson died following an assault at work has shaken our union to its core. We want to express our deep and sincere condolences to Mr Rollinson’s family at this unbearably difficult time.”

Unite the union is demanding more legal protection for bus drives in the Falkirk area and elsewhere
(Picture: Michael Gillen, National World)Unite the union is demanding more legal protection for bus drives in the Falkirk area and elsewhere
(Picture: Michael Gillen, National World)
Unite the union is demanding more legal protection for bus drives in the Falkirk area and elsewhere (Picture: Michael Gillen, National World)

“The stark reality is that bus drivers regularly and routinely confront dangerous incidents. It has become an intolerable occupational hazard for bus drivers on a daily basis, especially for those working late at night and in remote areas. Any abuse of workers is entirely unacceptable and Unite will continue to do everything possible to ensure that proper measures are in place to protect workers.”

Unite has repeatedly called for legislation to be enacted which makes it a specific offence to assault, threaten or abuse transport workers while at work. Currently, the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005 only makes it a specific offence to assault, obstruct or hinder someone providing an emergency service.

Unite Scottish Secretary Derek Thomson said: “We need legislation which provides stronger statutory protection for transport workers, which is fully enforced. Unite is committed to make this a reality in the interests of thousands of workers who urgently need protection.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The Scottish Government must act to ensure that transport workers are properly protected and Unite will ensure that ministers introduce the necessary measures.”

The union claims it has mounting evidence which indicates transport workers, including taxi drivers and bus drivers, are particularly vulnerable to assault and robbery with many fearful about returning to work following incidents. Assaults and abuse directed at bus drivers has increased exponentially in the past decade.

During the Covid pandemic, Unite members regularly received abuse and threats of violence. Bus drivers have also been subject to physical assault and robbery. This is especially evident while driving late at night and in remote locations, leaving those workers traumatised.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.