Saskia on train

As part of our Too Much Information campaign, we have been asking people to share their experiences of public transport.

Unexpected changes when taking public transport can be overwhelming for autistic people. For some, the fear of unexpected changes could mean not even leaving the house. We want to change that.

As part of our ongoing work to make public transport more autism-friendly, we will be sharing the stories with transport providers and the Department for Transport.

Here are just a few of your stories

“I took a train journey with my autistic child and his two siblings. A lot of planning went into the journey to ensure he could cope with the trip. He was less anxious when he knew we had four reserved seats together. He didn't have to sit near strangers, he didn't have to stand or be touching others.

We boarded the train and people were sat in our reserved seats. I explained these seats were reserved as I was travelling with an autistic child. A passenger who was sat there was quite rude, telling me all reserved seats are cancelled, but that he will move this time. So two of our four seats became free, however another passenger remained in our other two seats with her daughter. I was polite and explained had I reserved these seats because I was travelling with an autistic child.

My autistic son refused to sit down as he didn't want to sit with strangers so he stood. People brushing past him made him even more anxious. It's really hard for my son to travel and I thought I'd made it easier for him but no, it was an awful experience.”

Parent of autistic child, Leeds

“My nine-year-old autistic daughter had to manage the stress of going through security at Heathrow Airport. It was made so much easier as she had one of their invisible disability lanyards on. The staff let me go through with her and kept the stress to a minimum. It made a big difference to us all.”

Parent of autistic child, Brighton

“When we both boarded a bus and my autistic daughter held out her concession bus pass. The driver made comments suggesting that my daughter didn't look like anything was wrong with her, and that they seem to give concession cards to anyone. I sat down quietly with my daughter and pulled out some information cards on Asperger syndrome and autism that I had previously requested from The National Autistic Society.  At the end of our journey I asked for the driver to take some time to read the information and to pass the leaflets on to other drivers. He replied that he hadn't really got any understanding of autism.”

Parent of autistic child, Musselburgh

“My local train company have recently refurbished some of their trains. The seats are rock hard, the lights are interrogation-level bright, the door opening/closing sounds are trebley and very loud, and there's a constant smell of overheating electrics. I dread using these trains.

I wear sunglasses in the train at night and have noise isolating headphones just to limit the impact, but it's not enough.”

Autistic person, Colchester