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TfL launches badge to recognise customers with invisible impairments

Published on 28 April 2017

The Transport for London (TfL) 'Please offer me a seat' badge(Source: TfL)

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a ‘Please offer me a seat’ badge to recognise customers with invisible impairments.

The ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ badge and card was created following requests from customers, particularly those with invisible impairments, conditions and illnesses, who struggle to get a seat as their need for one isn’t immediately obvious.

A six-week trial with 1,200 users was held in autumn last year to test if the badge and card would help people getting a seat. Over the course of the trial, participants’ confidence in using the network increased. More than 72% of journeys were easier as a result of the badge, and 98% said they would recommend the badge and card to somebody who needed it.

Supporter Johan spoke to TfL about his experience of using public transport in London and what the badge will mean to him: "Having rheumatoid arthritis for over a decade now I find I have to talk about my condition and explain myself [on the tube] over and over again. I’m hoping that this badge will get me a seat when I need it."

Olivia Belle, Director of External Affairs at Arthritis Research UK, commented: "There are over 750,000 people in London living with hip or knee arthritis alone. The daily pain and fatigue caused by their condition can make everyday tasks, such as standing on a train, extremely difficult.

"However, the pain is invisible and its severity can fluctuate on a daily basis, which can make it really difficult to explain and to see.

"We’re really supportive of this new scheme, and hope it will make Londoners understand the impact of invisible conditions like arthritis and make getting a seat when needed easier."

The free badge and card are available from TfL. Customers will not be asked for their medical history or supporting evidence from a doctor. The badge and card can be used across the TfL network, on London Underground, London Overground, Buses, Docklands Light Railway, TfL Rail, Trams and River Services.

Apply for a ‘Please offer me a seat’ badge from TfL.


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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.