Transport for London trials badges for people with hidden health conditions
Transport for London (TfL) has developed a card and a badge to signal that people with hidden health conditions such as epilepsy, may need a seat on public transport.
The blue badge, which bears the words "Please offer me a seat" follows the success of TfL's "Baby on board" badge.
TfL has launched the scheme as a trial, and is recruiting 1,000 people who will use the blue badges for six weeks from 12 September. The TfL website explains: "The trial will help us understand if the badge or card can help people access a seat, and understand the reactions of other customers."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he hoped the badges would "give confidence" to people who find standing on public transport difficult. The trial is believed to be the first of its kind in Europe.
Any customer interested in taking part in the trial can contact the research agency 2CV by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Only those chosen for the trial will be given a badge and card.
Epilepsy Society comment
Epilepsy Society welcomed the initiative. Information officer Stella Pearson commented: 'People who have uncontrolled seizures are unable to drive and often rely on public transport to get about. Unless someone has a convulsive seizure in public, their epilepsy is often invisible to the public. It may not be obvious that they would benefit from being able to sit down, particularly when a bus or tube is crowded, and the heat or stress may trigger a seizure.
'More often than not, people on public transport are happy to give up their seat if they know someone needs it more than they do. This badge could help to make other travellers aware that someone may need to sit down, even if they appear fit and well.
'Initiatives such as this shows a real willingness to understand and support people with a wide range of health issues, not just those which are visible.'
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