More than half of women in Merseyside feel unsafe using public transport at night

Video report by Victoria Grimes

It has been revealed that more than half of women in Merseyside feel unsafe using public transport at night.

That is according to a recent survey by Merseyside's police and crime commissioner, which was carried out in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder.

The figures show that 54% of 1,500 women felt unsafe using public transport in at night and nearly 42% had concerns about using it during the day.

Now, Liverpool City Council has announced almost £270,000 of funding dedicated to making women feel safer on the region's transport network.

It will go towards a new safety text messaging service, training for bus and taxi drivers, and a new educational resource for schools to raise awareness of sexual harassment and misogyny.

Protest march through London against violence towards women, April 2021. Credit: PA

How will the funding be spent?

The council say the money will be used to improve CCTV particularly at city centre bus stations in Liverpool One, Queens Square and Sir Thomas Street.

It will also be used to create new ‘help points’ connected to the CityWatch control room and better links with emergency services.

Travel centres at each of the bus stations will become ‘safe spaces’ for anyone who feels vulnerable.

Bus drivers, frontline bus station staff and taxi drivers will receive ‘bystander training’ to better understand and know how to prevent sexual violence.

A new text messaging service will be launched to report concerns and help to identify offenders.

The money will also go towards a new educational resource, which will help raise awareness of sexual harassment and misogyny in up to 70 schools across Liverpool.

Emily Spurrell, Labour and Cooperative Party Police & Crime Commissioner for Merseyside. Credit: ITV News

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “More than 1,500 women across Merseyside responding to my public survey about their feelings of safety.

"Their responses highlighted that more women feel unsafe using public transport at night than any other area or location in our region.

“No-one should feel too worried or scared to use our public transport network. We listened intently to their voices and this bid was developed specifically to respond to their concerns.

“With this funding we will be able to put some significant, long-term improvements in place relatively quickly that I hope will make a genuine difference.

"We want women to feel safe using the transport network and ensure if any incident does occur that causes them concern that they can report it quickly and easily and there is someone on hand who is trained to respond effectively."