by Keri Allan
27 Apr 2022
Priority Seating Week (25–29 April) marks five years since Transport for London (TfL) launched its ‘Please Offer me a Seat’ badge.
This is free of charge and medical proof is not needed for eligibility.
Almost 100,000 badges have been given to disabled people and those with invisible conditions since the scheme’s launch, which was created to make travelling easier and more comfortable for those who might otherwise struggle.
TfL has worked closely with a range of disability groups and charities for Priority Seating Week to raise awareness of people’s diverse travel needs.
“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, while other people don't always feel brave enough to ask.”
Throughout Priority Seating Week, TfL is running a #TravelKind campaign. This includes the appearance of new posters and pop-up information stands highlighting accessible travel tools and services to boost travel confidence.
A series of events is also underway, designed to raise awareness of priority seats across London’s public transport network from London Underground and Overground through to DLR and TfL Rail trains as well as London trams and buses.
Social media clips will highlight some of the different reasons people wear a ‘Please Offer me a Seat’ badge and TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group (IDAG) will also be hosting several live streams on Instagram to discuss #TravelKind and #LookUp behaviours on the network, including priority wheelchair spaces.
“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.”
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