People who find it hard to stand on public transport will be able to take advantage of a new scheme to help them get a seat.
Created by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Please Offer Me A Seat is a badge system for passengers with disabilities, injuries or hidden conditions that enables them to indicate to fellow passengers they need to sit down.
Designed to be simple and accessible, the system will be built on trust and mutual co-operation. The application process is quick and simple and people do not have to supply medical details or supporting evidence.
TfGM will be supporting Please Offer Me A Seat with a social media and marketing campaign so that passengers will be aware of the scheme and know to offer their seats to people with a badge.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “A successful transport system needs to be accessible to all. If someone is put off using public transport because they can’t stand for extended periods or are worried about not getting a seat then it can be a real barrier to getting to the jobs, shops and other essential services across our city-region.
“This system makes it clearer to everyone, so people who need a seat feel more confident asking, and people sitting feel less awkward offering.
“We can all do our bit to make journeys better and I hope everyone gets behind the scheme and helps to make a real difference to people travelling in Greater Manchester.”
Brenda Warrington, GMCA Lead for Age-Friendly Greater Manchester and Equalities, said: “We all know that some people find it harder to stand on public transport, but not all disabilities and conditions are visible and sometimes it can be tricky to tell who needs a seat.
“I hope that Please Offer Me A Seat will make a real difference to people’s journeys and I would encourage everyone who needs one to apply. If you’re on public transport and you see someone with a badge standing, please offer them your seat. Let’s all do our bit to make our journeys better.”
Michele Scattergood, Chief Executive, Breakthrough UK, said: “We welcome the introduction of the Please Offer Me A Seat to Greater Manchester’s public transport network as another helpful contribution to making public transport accessible to disabled people and enabling them to travel independently in safety and comfort. The scheme will also help to raise awareness that many people have hidden impairment. It is also positive that the scheme is entirely optional so it protects the rights of disabled people who do not wish to disclose that they have an impairment or health condition.”