Greater Anglia has introduced ‘Offer Me A Seat’ badges after the idea received thousands of comments of support on social media.
Twitter and Facebook users gave their views and comments leading to the design of three badges, now available to those who may need a seat when travelling if trains are busier than usual, but may not feel confident enough to ask.
One of the badges says ‘Not all disabilities are visible. Please offer me a seat.’ Another option says ‘Please offer me a seat. My need may not be visible.’
Initially the train operator asked people to select which badge they thought was the best option, but as many people liked both, two designs have been produced, to help meet a wider variety of needs.
A third badge is for railway staff to wear and says, “Not all disabilities are visible. Can I help you?”
Greater Anglia’s Accessibility Manager, Rebecca Richardson, said, “If someone is in a wheelchair or has a white stick or guide dog, it’s obvious to everyone that they may need a bit of help when travelling on the railway.
“However, not all disabilities or conditions are visible, such as MS, arthritis or early stages of pregnancy and not everyone feels comfortable or confident to ask for help if their condition is not obvious.
“The idea behind the badges is to make it easier for customers who need help to get assistance.
“On train and station staff try their best to give the customers the help they need and the badges will make it easier to identify people who want their help.
“If passengers see someone wearing one of our new badges, we hope they will offer to give up their seat if the train is busy.”
The badges are now available at from customer information desks at Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford, Shenfield, London Liverpool Street, Harlow Town and Cambridge stations and via Customer Relations on 0345 600 7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org