50 autistic children and their families saw the very best of Glasgow during an autism-friendly bus tour on Tuesday, 15 August 2017.

Bus Tour in Glasgow.

The tour by the Red Bus Bistro took in sights such as Glasgow Cathedral, the People’s Palace and the Riverside Museum, and included autism-friendly changes such as not playing music on board, a chill out zone, and sensory toys. Families were also provided with images of the bus and information about the route in advance, which helped them to reduce anxiety and prepare for the trip.

Alison Simpson, from South Lanarkshire, is the managing director of Red Bus Bistro. Her 13-year-old son, Bradley, is autistic. She said: “I’ve always wanted to partner Red Bus Bistro with a charity, and for us it was a no brainer that the charity would be The National Autistic Society Scotland. I’ve never forgotten what they did to help a few years ago when I was having trouble with Bradley’s education, they were amazing.”

The event was attended by children and families supported by our volunteer branches in North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Largs, Edinburgh and Angus.

Siobhan Hogg, from Carluke, took part with her 11-year-old son, Angus. She said: “Angus really likes buses so coming on a Routemaster has been a real treat.

“Family outings can be stressful because Angus struggles with queues and busy places, which can often result in a meltdown. I haven’t had to worry today because I know the team at the Red Bus Bistro understand autism and will do what it takes to make sure everyone has a great day.”

The Red Bus Bistro offers Glasgow and Edinburgh city tours accompanied by afternoon tea aboard a 1966 Routemaster bus. The company has selected us as their charity partner, and will be holding fundraisers and supporting our campaigns over the next year.

Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “We’ve had a delightful day aboard this double decker, and we look forward to working with the Red Bus Bistro in the future.”