I have to take a bus soon for work. The journey is on a really busy route and will last about an hour.
I have a back condition which means that I can’t stand for longer than about ten minutes without getting bad pain which will last for a few days afterwards.
Looking at me you’d think I was fine. I can walk perfectly - it’s just standing still (or sitting on hard surfaces) that causes me the pain.
I’m really worried that I won’t be able to get a seat. Would I be entitled to use the priority seats? Also, what do I say if someone challenges me about sitting in them?
I’m sorry if these questions are basic questions but I don’t normally travel on buses as I work somewhere with poor public transport but on this occasion I’m being sent on an excursion to a sister site.
I think it would be incredibly unlikely you’d have to stand for a whole hour bus journey, yes you could use the priority seats but equally I think another seat would come free anyway if you felt uncomfortable doing that
Is it likely the bus will be packed at that time? Could you get an earlier or later bus that will be less busy? Hopefully you will get a seat, if so sit anywhere. If you need to sit in the priority seats and someone challenges you, say ‘I have a back condition that means I can’t stand very long’. But I doubt anyone would challenge you. Anyone can sit in them really, I’d expect anyone in any seat to stand if someone with greater need came on the bus.
I think these seats are for you. If you are able to move further back in the bus do, if there are no seats, use the priority seats. If someone boards who cannot move further back in the bus, walk back, name your condition to a seated passenger and see if they will stand for a while. I wouldn’t mind.
I have a collapsible walking stick that goes with me everywhere- I have RA & never know when it becomes impossible for me to walk. Had to whip it out on Tuesday as one minute I was fine the next I couldn’t put one leg in front of the other.
It’s quite likely that you’ll get a seat as people move on and off at each stop. But if you’re really not coping, ask - and not just those in the designated priority seats - people with good manners who will give their seat to those who need it more can be found in any part off the bus,
Though this thread has prompted me to send off for a ‘Cancer On Board’ badge. I’m usually fine, but on the days I’m tired/struggling, I’m really tired, and I think a badge might help show I’m in need then. Because I don’t think you can get away from the basic point that people do respond better when they can see/understand the need
Where can I get a collapsible stick? I am fighting the need for a stick, but it is getting harder to manage. Like the OP, I can't stand for long. I look well because I am on loads of medication, but some days are challenging.
I am 27 weeks pregnant and wear a baby on board badge. My train is normally packed and no one notices enough to give me a seat so the days when I feel that I don't feel well I normally say loudly " will someone who don't need the priority seat offer me a seat please" and someone will normally do.
Can you get hold of a walking stick/crutch just for the journey,to make it more obvious that you have a physical need for a seat? I refused to use a walking stick for a couple of years when my arthritis got a lot worse,as I felt self-conscious about it. But eventually I gave in,and it HAS made a noticeable difference on buses. Whereas before,I would NEVER get offered a seat on a packed bus,now I get offered one about 90% of the time (not necessarily a priority seat though). And having a walking stick means that I never get challenged about sitting in a priority seat. Strangely,it hasn't made any difference when I'm travelling on the tube though. I can more or less guarantee that if I get on a packed tube train carriage,the chances of being offered a seat,any seat,are virtually zero. Very odd.