Please Offer Me A Seat: TfL Trials New Badges

By Zoe Craig Last edited 20 months ago

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Please Offer Me A Seat: TfL Trials New Badges

Look out for passengers wearing new blue badges on London's transport network from 12 September.

They're part of a trial which is giving disabled passengers and people with hidden conditions, illnesses and injuries a badge, to alert fellow passengers of their need for a seat on public transport.

Please Offer Me A Seat badges (like the Baby on Board badges) are being tested to help out passengers who need a seat, but sometimes have difficulty getting one.

1,000 people are taking part in the six-week trial to assess how successful the badges are for passengers wearing them, and to gauge the reactions of others. The testers will also have a card that can be shown to TfL staff.

The new blue badge trial follows passenger feedback and TfL research that found some people with hidden disabilities, or those undergoing medical treatment, can find it difficult to get a seat when they need one — particularly if their need isn't immediately obvious.

Photo: Hoosier Sands

James McNaught, who made his own 'cancer on board' badge when he was undergoing cancer treatment, has welcomed the trial.

"Getting a seat on transport when you need it can sometimes be really tricky, especially if the reason you need to sit down isn’t obvious to others," McNaught explained.

"When I was undergoing radiotherapy for throat cancer, it meant I couldn’t talk to ask for a seat and the morphine I was taking made me appear drunk. It was a real struggle to get people to understand why I needed to sit down. A badge and card could help make a real difference to the lives of people undergoing drug treatment or with longer term conditions or disabilities."

Any customers interested in taking part can find out more here.

Last Updated 30 August 2016

Transport for All

This badge could be very useful for many disabled
people with a hidden impairment. But whilst we are supporting this initiative
for people who choose to use it, this should not become the norm. Disabled
people should not have to wear this badge in order to prove that they need a
priority seat. We hope TfL will keep encouraging people’s behaviour to give
their seat to anyone who may need it regardless of whether they are wearing a
badge or not


Fantastic idea. No we shouldnt have to wear a badge like this but anything that gets people thinking about hidden disability is a good thing.

It causes me great pain to walk or stand but I look normal, and I'm only in my 20s which doesn't help. On a recent visit to London using the tube, the lady in the priority seat opposite me kindly and correctly gave her seat up to a pensioner. I spent the rest of the journey dreading another pensioner or pregnant lady getting on as I knew I would be expected to give up the other priority seat even though I really needed it.

I think that TFL deserve credit for bringing this to people's attention.

I was also pleased to see that ASDA have placed signs by their disabled toilets reminding members of the public that people with hidden disabilities have legitimate reason to use them and they're not just for wheel chair users.

I hope that more companies start to consider the needs of those with hidden disabilities.

Sue Stolze-Beland

Whilst I commend the people who have come up with this badge idea, I do feel sad that it was even necessary to invent.
Born in 1950, I was brought up by parents who taught their children to give up their seats in busses and trains to elderly people and pregnant ladies or anyone with an obvious ailment.
My Dad always gave up his seat if he saw a woman standing even though he actually carried a blue disabled card on his person (he had no adrenal glands and only lived with the help of daily medication).
60 years on I'm guessing that many parents don't teach their children the same 'norms' my siblings and I were taught.
None of us live alone in the world and it will always be important to think of others as well as yourself.
Sadly it seems that selfishness has become more the norm where public transport is concerned.
And I agree that it shouldn't be necessary to have to wear a badge especially when a disability isn't immediately manifest.
And cynically I wonder how long it will take for someone to replicate the badges just to ensure they can lay claim to a priority seat!! Sad but true.....