I was shocked and saddened to read Daisy Narayanan’s recent blog on the Sustrans website about her experiences of racism and misogyny. On behalf of Living Streets, I want to offer our solidarity and state loudly that we stand together with Daisy against this culture of harassment and abuse.  

Stuart Hay

Many people who use social media will be familiar with the culture of harassment that can exist in online spaces, and street harassment is particularly keenly felt by women and people of colour. These tactics are used to silence people. It should be disturbing to everyone that racist attitudes are associated with the transport debate in supposedly diverse and outward looking Scotland. There have been other high-profile cases of racial harassment – including the former Transport Minister Humza Yousaf – which further illustrates the scale of the problem. Collectively, wmust make sure we’re standing against all forms of discrimination iwherever form or medium it appears.   

If we’re going to have meaningful conversations about accessibility of public spaces, then we have to be talking about discrimination, harassment and abuse as a systemic barrier. If women and people of colour feel afraid to leave the house because of harassment and abuse, then our public spaces are not accessible. 

For those of us working within transport and active travel, we must stay alert to these issues within our own workplaces – from casual conversations all the way through to decision-making processes. I note that in this list of women of colour public speakersDaisy is the only person on the list from within the transport sector. We have a long way to go in Scotland to address racism and sexism, and it should be on all of our agendas to do so.  


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