11 March, 2009

Free Baby on Board badge - TFL

Baby on Board Badge
This is a really very sensible idea, shortly after Flyingpops contacted TFL (you can get straight to them via email at babyonboard@tube.tfl.gov.uk, or ring up London Underground customer services on 0845 330 9880) and they will post you (for free - yes, don't go poking around on ebay) with a little note of congratulation, this little badge to display on your overcoat, just to let other users of the London transport infrastructure know that you are not (in fact) just being slovenly and putting on a little weight, but actually with "issue", and thus deserving of a priority seat rather than a derisory glare...

They announced this (albeit small) step forward as a result of a survey of pregnant women in 2006 which concluded with the so called "Mind the Bump" report...and it detailed some quite shocking findings -
  • More than two thirds (71 per cent) of pregnant women in the Capital cited rude and discourteous behaviour as a growing source of anxiety and stress during pregnancy
  • One in three (36 per cent) frequently felt they had to avoid public transport for fear of having to stand for the duration of the journey
  • One in five (20 per cent) of expectant mums in the Capital spend more than £100 on taxis and private vehicles during their pregnancy to avoid situations where they may have to stand for long periods of time on the Tube
  • London emerged as the least pregnancy-friendly place in the UK, with 45 per cent of London mums having saddened by the lack of consideration they were shown while pregnant (Wales was the best, just in case you were wondering)
- just at the minute Flyingpops doesn't actually *look* terribly pregnant, and on at least one occasion having the badge has already proved useful to her, but it's still quite shocking to hear her tell me stories of having to yell out "I'm Pregnant" to even get people to let her crush *onto* a full and standing train...let alone get anywhere *near* a priority seat...

Naughty London...still a long way to go to actual civilisation... :(


Absolute Beginner said...

That is the main thing I detest about London. The utter selfishness of people. Most London people purely think about what *they* want and they will literally walk through you or over you to get it. A story that I heard about the badge was a pregnant lady wearing one on the tube while standing up in a busy carriage. A guy and a girl (sitting down) were overheard discussing the fact that she was wearing one, while neither they or anyone else offered her a seat. I know that it is a choice to have a baby but this is a prime example of the London selfishness. It just doesn't even occur to some people to stand up!

Flyingpops said...

The first day I got my badge, I thought everyone would move and i would get a seat, sadly this was the day I stood on the platform and watched 5 trains go past as I couldn't squeeze on...although yesterday, my heart melted as someone told other passengers to move, so I could get on (she was also pregnant and we then had a 10 minute chat!)

Don't let it be said that I don't like a challenge! MJ and I survived the morning sickness and with my friendly commuters from redhill and very big husband beside me we'll manage.... after all .. pennies = pram!

-Mr X- said...

Don't get one of those heavy all in one travel system pram type things - they're just too heavy unless you do a LOT of walking and there's not too many hills. Also they're not that great around the shops etc. If you're anything like us expect to get through a number of prams as time goes on.

Just speaking from experience - obviously mother knows best ;-)

Flyingpops said...

Thanks Mr.X... I feel a pram post coming on, Fink and I need some help (although current car does limit options somewhat!)