Transport for London (TfL) is running a Priority Seating Week until Friday, 29th April, with new posters reminding people to offer their seats where possible, and pop-up information stands in stations.
People are being encouraged to give up their seats to others who may need them as TfL marks the fifth anniversary of its world-leading Please Offer me a Seat badge and the start of Priority Seating Week.
TfL is running a series of events this week to raise awareness of priority seats, which are designed to make travelling easier and more comfortable for people with a range of conditions.
Since the ‘Please Offer Me A Seat’ badge was launched in 2017, almost 100,000 badges have been issued to disabled people and those with invisible conditions. The badge was created to help more people travel and access London by enabling those who have less obvious accessibility requirements to get a seat on public transport.
On TfL’s social media channels, video clips will highlight some of the reasons people wear a ‘Please Offer me a Seat. badge, and will encourage them to look up and offer their seat, whether or not they are in a priority seat.
TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group (IDAG) will also host several live streams on Instagram throughout the week to discuss #TravelKind and #LookUp behaviours on the network, including priority wheelchair spaces.
Pop-up stands will be in place throughout the week at stations such as Stratford, King’s Cross, St. Pancras. and Liverpool Street. These provide information about TfL’s accessible travel tools and services to boost travel confidence.
A stationary electric bus will be at Stratford City bus station where people can speak to a bus driver to familiarise themselves with using the bus again. They can also find information about the design of the new buses on route 63. These have a range of innovative features, including new covers for the priority seats, and a contrasting colour scheme to help differentiate them from other seats for passengers who are less able to stand.
Mark Evers, TfL’s Chief Customer Officer, said:
“As London recovers from the pandemic and the transport network gets busier, it is vital that we ensure that everyone can travel comfortably and safely; however, it’s especially important for those with accessibility requirements. Travelling around London has been made easier for almost 100,000 people with accessibility requirements thanks to our Please Offer me a Seat Badge. We hope that during Priority Seating Week even more people will benefit from using the badges, and that everyone travelling will be reminded that not all conditions are visible and will give their seat to someone who needs it more than they do.”
Amanda Jacobs, who has various musculoskeletal conditions, said:
The ‘Please offer me a seat badge’ helps fellow commuters realise that people such as myself may need to sit down on public transport, when it might not otherwise be obvious to them, because you can’t see pain, fatigue and various illnesses or conditions. It means that people who need to sit down don’t have to verbally ask their fellow passengers if they could have their seat, which not everybody may be able to do physically, whilst other people don’t always feel brave enough to ask.
“The badge is so important to me personally, because when somebody looks up, sees I need to sit down and offers me their seat, I can relax and not worry about being injured and unable to live a full life for several months – just because I couldn’t get a seat on the bus, train or tube and had to stand up. Such a relatively small action by a fellow passenger respecting my needs can therefore have a hugely beneficial influence on my life for months to come.”