London rolls out badges for passengers with hidden disabilities

After a trial run last autumn, Transport for London today officially released badges to encourage passengers to give up their seats to fellow travellers with ‘invisible’ disabilities

As of today, people with less visible disabilities can wear ‘Please offer me a seat’ badges when travelling in London. The move follows a trial run by Transport for London (TfL) last autumn, in which 72 per cent of those who took part said their journeys were made easier as a result of the badge.

“These blue badges will make a real difference to passengers who need a seat but just haven’t felt confident enough to ask for one,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London. “I’ve no doubt they’ll soon become as recognisable across the capital as our popular ‘Baby on Board’ badges.”

These blue badges will make a real difference to passengers who need a seat but just haven’t felt confident enough to ask for one

The 1,200 commuters who took part in the trial were encouraged to use London transport without explaining to other passengers their illness or reason to require a seat. It found that in 86 per cent of journeys, participants felt more confident when asking for a seat on public transport.

James McNaught, who had previously developed a ‘cancer on board’ badge and later took part in the TfL trial, said: “This is a brilliant scheme and I am very glad that it is being introduced by the Mayor. The anxiousness of needing a seat but being unsure whether you will get one can rob people of the confidence to use public transport, and this simple initiative will make a huge difference to the lives of many people.”

“Many of our customers, particularly disabled people and people with hidden conditions, tell us they struggle to get a seat when they need one,” added a TfL spokesman. “The purpose of the badge is to eliminate the need to explain to fellow passengers the reason for needing a seat.”

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