09 April, 2009

Priority seat card - Southern Trains

Commute - train window
Well well well...Southern trains seem to have actually done something rather insightful and potentially very useful, both for Flyingpops and me (as she is pregnant and I very occasionally require the use of crutches to get around) by introducing a scheme where those genuinely in need of a seat can apply for a priority seat card...yesterday I spotted that this sign has appeared-
Priority seat sign
- at eye-level on seat backs facing all the priority seats on my normal train home (rendering it literally unmissable if you happen to be sitting in one)...Previously the priority seats were marked out only by a small grey sticker only immediately obvious if one were to be (a) standing up, and (b) happened to notice it against the similarly coloured train wall...the idea is, if you are genuinely in need of a seat you can then prove it by just showing your card to whoever is sat in one (and similarly they can flash their card right back if they too have a genuine reason to be sat there)...this will be particularly useful to pregnant women in the early stages, as I'm now painfully aware - some women (Flyingpops included) while they don't *look* pregnant (or even necessarily needy), can suffer horribly with morning sickness, dizziness and tummy pains, this card, if fellow commuters honour it, could be a God send for the shy as it's rather difficult to hide behind your Metro and headphones if someone is holding a card in front of you and you deliberately sat down *knowing* you could be asked to move...

Let's hope the trial is a success...

3 comments:

Ys said...

They already have them on the trains and buses round here. Mostly old people just glare at you if you sit even anywhere near close to them ;)

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

Trains into London get so packed though that everyone just seems to ignore the fact they exist...hopefully the existence of a card *proving* you have the right to a seat will help change that...

Flyingpops said...

Whilst this looks like a good idea, there are a few teething problems..

1) You can't get a pass until you can submitt a form that you don't get until 24 weeks pregnant (by which time, it's fairly obvious that you need to sit down)

2) When a train approaches, you don't know which carriage contains priority seats, so when it's really busy you can still get on the wrong doors and find yourself without a seat (and not be able to get down the aisle to the priority seats)

3) All other train providers allow pregnant women to sit in first class, except Southern

4) You have to send away for the card, which takes time. Can they not issue them at the station you usually get your ticket?

But nice to see that they are trying!