The Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) was established in 2002 and is an advisory non departmental public body. The Convener and Members are appointed by the Minister for Transport and the Islands.

MACS was formally constituted under section 72 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001. Prior to this advice was provided by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) on a UK wide basis and there was no equivalent Scottish body.

The role of MACS is set out in the Act as being to:

  • consider matters about the needs of disabled persons in connection with transport that the committee think are appropriate
  • advise the Scottish Ministers about those matters that the committee think are appropriate.

The Committee has 15 members with various skills, knowledge and experience gained through their fields of expertise and lived experiences. Members have collective responsibility for the effective operation of MACS, and are led by the Convener.

The Convener gives active and effective leadership, direction, support and guidance to ensure that MACS delivers its functions effectively and efficiently, consistent with Ministers’ priorities.

Partnership for Change

MACS signed up to the Scottish Government’s Partnership for Change and has committed to working towards 50/50 by 2020.

Meetings, consultations and guides

The MACS Committee meets formally 4 times a year and the minutes of these committee meetings are available.

MACS also responds to consultations and calls for evidence to make sure the views of disabled people are heard and taken into consideration when developing policies and designing services in relation to travel. This includes all modes of transport and the surrounding infrastructures. MACS responses to consultations and calls for evidence are also available.

The Committee has produced various guides and good practice documents to help with designing accessible environments and services and the removal of barriers encountered by disabled people when travelling.

"MACS believes in a Scotland without the barriers that isolate and exclude disabled people from making their choice of successful door to door journeys"

Aims of MACS

Overall Aim

In the founding legislation the Scottish Ministers have defined the overall aim for MACS as follows:

“MACS will consider such matters relating to the needs of disabled persons in connection with transport as the Committee think appropriate and give advice to Scottish Ministers”.

The Convener shall aim to ensure that MACS’ policies and actions supports the wider strategic policies of the Scottish Ministers.


MACS believes in a Scotland without the barriers that isolate and exclude disabled people from making their choice of successful door to door journeys. 


To give Scottish Ministers advice on aspects of policy, legislation and practice affecting the travel needs of disabled people.

To take account of the broad views and lived experiences of disabled people when giving advice.

To encourage awareness amongst disabled people in Scotland of developments which affects their mobility, choices and opportunities.

To work closely with SG and ensure our work programme complements the work being undertaken by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), the Equality and Human Rights Commission and other organisations , voluntary and statutory.

To promote the travel needs of disabled people with designers, including transport planners and operators, so that these are fully taken into account in the development of vehicles and infrastructure and delivery of services.

To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our work against the above aims and objectives in improving travel opportunities for disabled people in Scotland.

MACS aims are that disabled people should be able to

  • Obtain and use easily accessible information to plan journeys
  • Get from where they live to reach public transport services unobstructed
  • Access those services with whatever support and help are necessary
  • Enjoy the journey in comfort and safety
  • Satisfactorily complete the journey

These aims assist with delivering on the pledges within Scotland’s first ever National Accessible Travel Framework published in 2016 (Going Further). This framework is designed to ensure that:

  1. More disabled people make more successful door to door journeys more often
  2. Disabled people are more involved in development and improvements in transport policies, services and infrastructure
  3. Everyone involved in delivering transport information, services and infrastructure will help to enable disabled people to travel
  4. Disabled people feel comfortable and safe using public transport - this includes being free from hate crime, bullying and harassment when travelling

MACS works with various partners to deliver its aims and strategic objectives. This includes, but is not limited to, Disabled People, The Scottish Government, The Scottish Human Rights Commission, The Equality and Human Rights Commission, National, Regional and Local Transport Providers, National, Regional and Local Public Authorities, Disabled Persons Organisations and Disability Organisations.

Working in partnership with these organisations MACS seeks the following outcomes:

  • Ensure travel information is accurate and accessible.
  • Remove barriers to the accessibility of public transport services and infrastructure.
  • Identify and promote best practice in all areas of public transport provision.
  • Advise that all public transport staff undergo appropriate disability, equality and awareness training.
  • Ensure that public transport networks make full use of all potential service providers and transport options are in place for people who cannot get to or use conventional public transport services.


Annual report

MACS Code of conduct 

Workstreams' workplans


Previous years


Reports and examples of good practice


The Mobility and Access Committee (MACS) meets quarterly in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. Meetings commence at 11:00 (refreshments from 10:45) unless otherwise indicated.

Upcoming MACS meetings

  • 24 April 2018
  • 24 July 2018
  • 23 October 2018

Members of the public are welcome to attend MACS meetings. The Secretariat requires a minimum of one week's notice of attendance. Depending on the venue up to 5 places are available. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you wish to attend please contact macs@gov.scot or telephone 0131 244 0923.


Past minutes of MACS meetings are available via the UK web archive.

Members' biographies

Naghat Ahmed

Naghat is a Law and Accountancy graduate and a committee member for the Law Society of Scotland Client Protection Sub-committee.

Her current role at Glasgow City Council includes both programme and project management. She has previously worked on policy and strategy development, equality and diversity, change management, corporate governance and utilising project methodologies. She previously worked in the Commission for Racial Equality and NHS 24, specialising in equality and diversity.

Miss Ahmed is a carer for relatives who have disabilities.

Linda Bamford

Linda’s career background is mainly in NHS Scotland, initially as a psychiatric and general nurse before moving into Para medicine with the Scottish Ambulance Service. After 13 years as a frontline paramedic in Glasgow, Linda moved into management holding various senior management positions within the ambulance service for over 15 years. She was heavily involved in Accident and Emergency ambulance service provision in various areas in Scotland and led on the previous Patient Transport Service Redesign Strategy.

She is the recipient of two queen’s medals. One, for “Long Service and Good Conduct” to the NHS and the second for “Dedication to the NHS”. She recently had to take early medical retirement after several lots of surgery for a spinal cord injury at L3/4/5 and S1. Linda is now involved in Children’s Hearings Scotland and is also a qualified counsellor.

She is the current Chair of Spinal Injuries Scotland, an organisation she got involved with after her spinal cord injury and rehabilitation. She will take up the position of National Convener for Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) in Jan 2017.

Hobbies before her injury included cycling, squash and various water sports, some of which she hopes to pick back up with some assistance. Linda brings to the role experience and qualifications in Operational Management and Service Delivery, Corporate Governance, Strategy Development, Risk Management, Change Management, Team Building and Leadership and Organisational Planning utilising project methodologies.

Audrey Birt

Audrey was a nurse, and has developed a broad experience in improving health and social care.

She has extensive senior executive experience, including being the Director for Scotland of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the National Director for Diabetes UK Scotland. Ms Birt was Chair of the Health and Social Care Academy, focussed on transformation of health and social care.

She's a regular blogger on health and disability issues, informed by her own experience.

Marsali Craig

Marsali has been a Trustee and Director of the MS Society and a Director of Aberdeen based North-East Sensory Services.  She sat on the Aberdeen City Children’s Panel for two terms and currently works as a volunteer with the Faculty of Health and Social Care at RGU Aberdeen.  Marsali has professional skills and experience as a Social Worker and as a Solicitor and has a wide personal experience of travelling as a disabled person.

Marsali was appointed in October 2013 and re-appointed in 2016.

Joanne Fairweather

Joanne was appointed as a MACS member on 1 October. She has a slight learning disability and is a member of Enable Scotland, an organisation for people with learning disabilities and family carers.

Joanne is involved with ACE and ENABLE Scotland. ACE is an Active Community of Empowered people with learning disabilities, who challenge barriers to an equal society for every person with learning disability in every community across Scotland. She was elected by her local Elgin ACE members to represent their group at the National ACE meetings. Through her lived-in experience and her work with ACE, she has an understanding of local and national issues for disabled people.

A lot of the work Joanne is involved in, both locally in the Moray area and nationally, is about transport for people with a disability. She has represented the views and promoted the needs of people who have disabilities at national and local meetings. These include meetings with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability. As someone who has a learning disability she has first-hand knowledge of the barriers faced when using transport. 

Joanne has three sons: Ian, who is 20, Neil, 19 and Keith, 14. Her hobbies include: doing jig-saws, and playing on her tablet, watching TV and going for walks. She enjoys meeting people.

Dr Anne Findlay

After graduating in medicine from Edinburgh University in 1981, she undertook further specialist training and qualifications in paediatrics, public health, international health and tropical medicine.  She has worked both in a clinical capacity and in public health roles at local, national and international level.  Dr Findlay has undertaken consultancy work for the World Health Organisation as well as working for aid agencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  More recently she has been a member of various tribunals which deal with appellants who have a range of disabilities.  She is also a main carer for a relative with both visual and physical impairments.

Sheila Fletcher

Sheila has wide experience in the provision of public transport and associated infrastructure, having worked for over 25 years in the public and third sector. She is secretary of the Ross and Cromarty Access Panel and serves on the Boards of the Bradbury Centre (Bonar Bridge), Ross-shire Voluntary Action and the Scottish Disability Equality Forum. In her working life with the Community Transport Association, Shelia supports third sector transport providers throughout Scotland but mostly in the Highlands and Islands as she is based near Inverness. She is also involved with groups who provide day care in the community.

David Hunter

David is an independent consultant with Not for Profit Planning. He has over thirty years’ experience in a wide variety of voluntary and professional roles promoting accessible transport. He was a full-time volunteer with Manchester Community Transport before becoming the first Director of the London Dial a Ride Users Association. He developed a range of accessible and sustainable transport services for Lothian and Edinburgh Councils for ten years before leading strategy and business planning at the National Library of Scotland. He has degrees in Politics and Social Policy and was appointed an Associate Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute in 2015. His interests include social policy research, consumer involvement in public services and in making streets and public places inclusive. He is a member of Living Streets, the Institute of Transport and Logistics and the Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance.

Dr Susan Morris

Susan Morris is a Fellow of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  She brings 25 years of academic research experience in social and behavioural sciences with expertise in technology-enhanced learning and universal design.   Susan is a former Director of Larbert based Forth Valley Advocacy, a free independent professional advocacy service.   Susan is an alumna of University of Manchester (BA Econ Hons in Government and Social Policy 1992), University of Stirling (MSc in Applied Social Research 1993), University of Glasgow (PhD 1998) and The Open University (Dip Mgmt 2005, BSc Hons 2011, MA in Online and Distance Education 2016).

Dr George Mowat-Brown

A freelance lecturer, writer, researcher, musician, occasional broadcaster and speaker, his work involves him in frequent multi-modal travelling throughout the UK.  His writing encompasses the arts, industrial history and medical issues and he tutors postgraduate students for the Open University in Scotland and occasionally lectures for the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford.  Dr Mowat-Brown has been involved since its inception with the Scottish MS Incidence Register having given a talk on the history of MS in Scotland at its launch.  He has been a Member of the Steering Group and Chairs the Patients Reference Group for the Register.  He took an active part in highlighting the deficiencies of the Disability discrimination act in relation to MS that led to the clarifications of 2005.

Hussein Patwa

Hussein was elected as an RNIB Scotland Member Representative in 2011 and to the RNIB Scotland Committee shortly thereafter. He was co-opted onto the strategic Living with Sight Loss Programme Board and also sits on the Travel, Shopping & Control of Money Programme Board within the same organisation.

He is a member of the Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance with a particular interest in accessible rail and local bus transport. Hussein has a background in Business Management, Innovation & Change and Internet Information Systems with e-Business. Hussein was appointed to MACS in October 2013.

Keith Robertson

Keith is a Royal Navy Veteran. He was invalided out of the forces in 1973 after an accident that left him disabled and a paraplegic wheelchair user. He is a graduate of Heriot Watt University and has professional expertise in the field of accessibility and design of Inclusive Environments. Keith is the General Manager of Wheelchair s for Ukraine. Keith was appointed in October 2013.

Hilary Stubbs

Hilary has had a career spanning almost 40 years in Local Government. She has specialised in the field of business support including HR, Finance, performance management and risk management. On secondment to the Audit Commission, Hilary undertook the role of Inspector in Local Authorities across the UK. As a Board Member of West Highland College, Hilary chairs the Board’s Audit Committee and hopes to bring her knowledge of Board Governance and audit to this role. Hilary is a regular traveller on public transport, especially the ferry services. Having worked with young people with special needs she hopes to influence the provision of accessible transport for all sectors of the community. Hilary was County Commissioner for Scouting in County Durham and has been involved in charity work especially with St Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham and Dorothy’s well project, Tanzania, where she was a founding trustee. Hilary graduated from St Mary’s College, Durham University and remained in Durham until she retired to Isle of Arran.

Fraser Sutherland

Fraser Sutherland champions consumer rights in Scotland and across the UK.  He has a wide range of consumer research and advocacy experience in a variety of markets including financial services, communications and retail.  Mr Sutherland authored Citizens Advice Scotland’s report on rural bus provision and led their campaign against unfair practices in the private parking industry.  He is passionate about protecting vulnerable consumers, including those with a disability, and championing the issues faced by those in remote and rural Scotland.  He is Co-Chair of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute Consumer panel and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Michael Tornow

Michael Tornow was appointed this summer as Senior Health Improvement Officer at NHS Health Scotland and is currently leading portfolios of work on housing and dementia.  Before that, he worked for NHS Health Scotland as Health Improvement Officer, supporting the NHS and others to promote physical activity. 

Mr Tornow previously worked for NHS Health Scotland’s Equality Team, and before that for the Disability Rights Commission and Glasgow Housing Association.  He has a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Stirling University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Housing, also from Stirling. 

He has a Master’s Degree in Equality and Human Rights from Glasgow University and is currently studying Physical Activity for Health part-time at Edinburgh University.  In 2013, Mr Tornow became a Trustee of the charity, Partners in Advocacy, and is currently a member of the National Institute for Health Care Excellence’s Public Health Advisory Committee, which is updating good practice guidelines on making people more physically active.

John Whitfield

John was born with a severe hearing loss and wears bi-lateral hearing aids and lip reads. His eyesight deteriorated due to Retinitis Pigmentosa and he has been registered blind for over 30 years. Over the years his work with Deafblind Scotland (DbS) has involved a considerable amount of travelling. Due to his sight loss he has to utilise every mode of transport necessary to fulfil his role and has used ferries, trains and where necessary taxis when buses are not available.

He has a wealth of experience around accessibility and transport modes. He has also represented Deafblind Scotland on a number of meetings to address accessibility issues for dual sensory impaired people.

Register of Interests

Secretariat and contact details

A secretariat within Transport Scotland serves MACS. The secretariat is located in Victoria Quay in Edinburgh.

The Secretariat responsibilities include: circulating information to members informing members of consultations updating the MACS website arranging and organising meetings circulating meeting papers supporting the Convener and preparing minutes of meetings processing payments of allowances and expenses co-ordinating appropriate representation by Committee members at external events facilitating media handling through Transport Scotland's Communication Office

The MACS Secretariat can be contacted at:

Transport Scotland
Area 2D Dockside
Victoria Quay

Telephone: 0131 244 0923

E-mail: macs@gov.scot


There are no current MACS vacancies.

Videos - What MACS means to its members

Marsali Craig


David Hunter