Transport for London (TfL) will introduce a blue badge for those less able to stand on a permanent basis in the spring following a successful trial.
The ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ badge and accompanying card, similar to Baby on Board badges and intended to help those who need a seat but have difficulty getting one, were trialled for six weeks earlier this year by more than 1,200 people.
TfL said the trial was a response to passenger feedback and its own research, which found that those with hidden disabilities and conditions, or those undergoing treatments, can often find it difficult to get a seat.
During the trial, 72% of journeys were said to be easier as a result of the badge. In 86% of journeys, participants reported feeling more confident when asking for a seat and 98% said they would recommend the badge and card to somebody who requires or would benefit from it.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘I’m proud that Londoners embraced this innovative trial and that Londoners wearing the badges found travelling around our Capital easier as a result.
‘It’s great news that next year we will be able to offer them to all those with hidden disabilities and conditions, and I’m really looking forward to the blue badges becoming as recognisable on public transport as our hugely successful Baby on Board ones.’
Alan Benson, chair of Transport for All, said: ‘Transport for All are pleased to hear the please offer me a seat trial was successful and TfL and the mayor will be launching it next year. While this will help many customers, there will be those who don’t want to use a badge and card. We want to see those people supported too, and for everyone to get a seat who needs one.’
TfL said that when the badge is launched it will become the first European transport provider to recognise invisible impairments and conditions in this way.