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London Transport - Pregnancy Priority Seat

(76 Posts)
lilly40 Fri 01-Mar-13 18:53:21


I'm in the process of writing to London Underground to ask why they can't make it easier for pregnant women using the underground. I was on the underground the other day and was told when asking for a 'pregnancy priority seat'.

"No, I paid for my ticket, and I didn't ask you to get pregnant"

Even when I pointed out they were sitting in a priority seat, reserved for pregnant women, they refused to get up.

This is of course not London Undergrounds fault, but surely, they can enforce publicity/advertising so people are aware.

I'm asking mumsnet members to write to London Underground and support me on this. You can write anonymously if you wish, or with your name and address. The more women that write, and more so pregnant women, will make our voice heard.

Pregnant women should not have to ask for a seat this is reserved for them.

Address:- London Underground, Customer Services Centre, 55 Broadway, LONDON, SW1H 0BD

Fax: 0207 918 4093

Feedback form:

Thank you smile

ladymia Fri 01-Mar-13 18:57:27

I do not think it's their responsibility to see their passengers give pregnant women their seats.

I am 38 weeks and now still don't expect people to give me their seats ... personally. I have been offered a seat only a couple of times and can count on one hand the amount of times I have taken it. Mostly only when I have felt a little feint because I had walked around a lot.

LynetteScavo Fri 01-Mar-13 19:03:06

No, pregnant women shouldn't have to ask for a seat, and if they do, the person sitting in it should give it up...and shouldn't be rude.

But I think you got unlucky. When I've been traveling on the underground while pg many people offered me their seat (I hardly ever accepted), and I've often seen people offering seats to pregnant or elderly people.

London Undergound can't really do much more that put up signs. What do you propose they do?

I'm sorry you met such a rude person. sad

PurplePoppySeed Fri 01-Mar-13 19:11:57

if you feel you do need to sit and ask for a seat, then people should give up the seat, I completely agree that is what it is there for. I would get up if asked before i got pregnant. We live in a very different world these days and after years of working in London Ive started to accept that it's basically the rudest place in the country and have given up thinking it'll get better, I now just wait for the next train if one is busy, to avoid having to ask.

every pregnancy is different, some people suffer a lot and it makes commuting very hard, whilst I've had friends who said they managed to get through the whole pregnancy without needing to ask for seats etc. There is no way I could get to work without a seat on the train, but I'm lucky enough to be able to time specific trains that always have seats and the W&C always comes in empty.

I agree it would be great if there was some sort of campaign but I do think tfl try as best they can- wearing the badge has made a difference for me, people tend to let me on first etc.

But I wonder if it's boris's office that should be asked the question?

RubyrooUK Fri 01-Mar-13 19:27:03

Isn't that priority seat for lots of groups - anyone who has trouble standing? I didn't think it was just for pregnant people; I've given it up while pregnant for people with sticks etc who need it more than I do.

For what it's worth, I'm nearly 9 months pregnant (ahhh), and finished work this week after commuting on the tube every day. I have not been offered a seat a lot. But a few times, someone has spotted my belly and sprung up. Every single one has said: "Sorry, you weren't wearing a Baby On Board badge so I wasn't sure..."

I think you just met an arsehole OP. Most people I've come across are happy to get up when they see a Baby On Board badge. I am not sure a campaign is needed - I think this was one obnoxious individual rather than anything else.

GoSuckEggs Fri 01-Mar-13 19:30:48


BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Fri 01-Mar-13 19:36:17

For future reference, the trick is not to ask a specific person, but to ask a group of four people in a general area "excuse me, could someone give me a seat please?". That way you don't end up asking the apparently healthy young person with muscular dystrophy, or who has just miscarried, or is just a misanthropic bastard to give you their seat. One out of four people will always be willing to stand.

ladymia Fri 01-Mar-13 19:40:31

I am interested to know what you want TFL to do lilly40?

lilly40 Fri 01-Mar-13 19:52:16

Woman who works at TFL advised me when I asked for a baby on board badge to write to TFL. She said that pregnant women, elderly and those carrying children are priority customers for the end seats.

Hence my asking mumsnet users to support.

I was apprenhensive when she suggested writing in, but she was angry when she saw how much pain I was in from standing for such a long time without a seat.

lilly40 Fri 01-Mar-13 19:54:17

I'd never take a seat from anyone who is disabled, or otherwise, and don't care where I sit, but TFL woman was so vocal about the priority seat, hence the sticker above the seat indicating its purpose.

Interesting that this is provoking such a reaction.

queenofthepirates Fri 01-Mar-13 19:59:23

Sorry OP but I'm not sure I understand what you're asking for. TFL already supply free baby on board badges and the priority seats have a pregnant woman pictured on them.

You met a twat on the train, they ought to have given their seat up for you.

I would prefer that the already quite pricey London underground doesn't use its cash to advertise what ought to be common sense. I doubt very much any advert would have made this rather unpleasant person give up their seat for you.

Helspopje Fri 01-Mar-13 20:00:41

baby on board badges do naff all on the london overland trains and the priority seats on those are signed as for disabled passangers not including preggers people.

I am 8 months and have been offered a seat a grand total of 4 times in this pregnancy. 2 women even elbowed me out of the way to the last free seats on the carriage yesterday evening then tutted because my big belly bumped them as i swayed around when the train jolted along. idiots.

i stood and chatted with someone on the way home tonight and was saying that i moved seamlessly from worrying that the jolting would make me chuckup down someone's posh suit in the first and second trimesters (actually had to chuck up up my own sleeve to avoid this on one occasion) to thinking that i might hurt myself and obliterate some poor mortal next to me if i fall over now as am in full whale-sized mode.

ladymia Fri 01-Mar-13 20:03:41

but what are YOU asking us to ask TFL to do lilly40?

Reebok Fri 01-Mar-13 20:05:51

Unfortunately op I don't think it will do much. I was almost knocked over by a woman yesterday who raced to get a seat before me although she could clearly see my bump and badge. I've noticed it's mainly men who offer their seat. I usually decline unless I can barely stand (have sciatic pain)...women never give up their suit. They usually sneer, look at my bump and look away. This is the country we live in and unfortunately, most people are rude. Not much we can do.

Christelle2207 Fri 01-Mar-13 20:25:58

how do you suggest tfl enforces this?

LittleBearPad Fri 01-Mar-13 20:36:06

I'm afraid you met a tosser on the tube and that isn't tfl's responsibility or something they can do anything about.

If you needed a seat couldn't you ask anyone else? You don't have to sit at the end. I do realise that those seats are priority for the elderly, pregnant etc. Usually someone offers in those circumstances. I always found middle aged men were the worst offenders and other women were the most helpful.

1500mmania Fri 01-Mar-13 20:36:22

I never had any problem on London Underground, I was always offered a seat - whether it was the priority seat or not . Intact the only time I did was at the weekends when there was tourists - tourist don't give up seats (probably because it just doesn't occur to them) londoners do

lilly40 Fri 01-Mar-13 21:04:32

I'd like TFL to advertise posters or even make announcements reminding the public to offer their seats to not only pregnant women, but mothers carrying children, disabled and elderly.

Is this too much to ask?

Are we just to accept that tossers exist, or FFS, or it doesn't always happen? I realise all of this, but surely, its worth a try?

If we politely ask TLF to advertise on posters, or make announcements surely this is a positive step?

I've been lucky during my pregnancy, so far, but what about other women out here who aren't so lucky?

lilly40 Fri 01-Mar-13 21:08:28

The one time I asked for a seat was a day when I was feeling particularly exhausted.

Jeezimacasalinga Fri 01-Mar-13 21:23:31

I agree 1500mmania, I've commuted on the Northern Line throughout 3 pregnancies and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to stand (and have never worn a badge either). People usually can't get out of their seats quickly enough. OP, are you sure you are visibly pregnant? People do hesitate if they are unsure, as it's very embarrassing if they get it wrong!

I am not from London originally but it angers me when people say Londoners are the rudest people blah blah blah - in my experience people are people wherever you are - some are rude but most are kind and decent.

GingerDoodle Fri 01-Mar-13 21:23:48

Im really not sure what TFL would actually do.

I commuted on the over and underground for my entire pregnancy - including over the Olympics. I have also commuted with our DD since she was 2 1/2 weeks old, firstly with the pram and now with a sling.

To be honest commuters get a bad rep. On the tube, as long as I could get near the seats I normally got offered a seat (slightly more so on some lines than others). Unlike others I did find the baby on board badge helpful - particularly as i really didn't show till well gone 5 months.

I hardly ever got offered a seat on the mainline and fair enough. We've all paid 4k for a ticket; its a long commute and generally people are just wrapped up in themselves. My DH managed to miss someone very pregnant walking past us looking for a seat until i pointed it out and he is usually very observant. Oddly enough I am more likely to get offered a seat now with DD in a sling which backs up my observant theory.

Without a doubt there are less kind people and some very obvious arse holes like the guy who blatantly cut my up racing to a seat and the other who picked a fight (with me) because he tried to push in front of me and there was nowhere for me to move to on the Gatwick Express. However more random posters and announcements will just get ignored tbh. Yes people in priority seats should really get up if you ask but they may well have a reason for sitting there that is not visible (hence why I never asked!)

GingerDoodle Fri 01-Mar-13 21:26:31

On a lighter note I would much rather eating pongy food on trains without windows be banned. I had really really bad sickness and even peanuts would set me off. I ended up choosing trains based on their toilets!!!

EuroShaggleton Fri 01-Mar-13 21:36:38

I don't think TFL can do much more. They have priority seat signs and baby on board badges. You just had the misfortune to meet an obnoxious tosser. I commute daily and almost always see pg women offered seats. I've seen someone ask for a seat once (well, leaning seat) and it was immediately given up.

ladymia Fri 01-Mar-13 21:41:44

Seems a bit extreme to start a campaign based on one guy not willing to give up his seat really.

You go ahead though i believe it's important to speak up about issues you think important enough.

GoSuckEggs Fri 01-Mar-13 21:44:34

to be fair she was probably fed up, perhaps near the end of her shift and wanted you to stop moaning at her, so suggested you write in to give you some thing to do and stop you moaning at her.

I do that a lot!

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