Priority Seating Cards: Standing up for your rights

FCC's Priority Seating Card

First Capital Connect (FCC) have launched a Priority Seating Card for passengers who may have trouble standing on trains, such as the elderly or pregnant women.

Most trains, including those run by FCC, already have designated seats that people are supposed to vacate and offer to, for example, another passenger carrying a young child, or to a passenger on crutches.

Is this new card an admission that the convention doesn't work and that people need to be empowered with an official piece of laminated plastic?

FCC's Customer Service Director Michelle Smart said:

"We know that someone's need for a seat is not always obvious and not everyone feels happy about explaining why they need to sit down.

"Our new cards make that request for a priority seat that much easier and, for some, less embarrassing. They will be a real benefit to people in genuine need."

People can apply for a Priority Seating Card via the First Capital Connect website.

It is also worth noting that you don't need to actually have one of these priority cards in order to ask for a designated priority seat.

So, is this a good idea? Will people use it?

Also, isn't this a reflection on selfish travellers who are reluctant to give up their seats for those in need?

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I really don't see the value in these cards.

    I would much rather see money invested in advertising campaigns encouraging people to just ask if they want to sit. Most people try to switch off on the train, so we don't always know if someone's just got on that needs a seat, and sometimes its really not obvious. 99% of people will happily give up their seat. Just ask! It's London's last taboo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    It's worth noting that if you have a season ticket and are pregnant, you can get an exemption that allows you to sit in First Class if there are no seats in standard class. Assume this new scheme doesn't supersede this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Another way of spending money from over priced tickets! No plastic card is going to help somebody get a seat. There are people who give up seats to pregnant women or elderly but most don't and why should they? They pay so much they should be able to enjoy the journey and not stand. Best idea would be to get more trains on the rails then everybody can sit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Is someone is pig-headed enough not to move after being asked, why would a little plastic card make them more inclined to move?



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