I Need a Seat: Metro scheme aims to make journeys more comfortable for those less able to stand

Passengers are being encouraged to "get on board" with a new initiative to help those travelling by Metro.

By Debra Fox
Wednesday, 27 March, 2019, 13:58

The I Need a Seat initiative has been launched by Nexus to raise awareness of those who need a seat, and overcome the awkwardness felt by those who may need to ask for one.

This includes those with a disability or injury, elderly passengers and people with hidden conditions.

The badges launched by Nexus and Tyne and Wear Metro.

First launched in 2017, the scheme offers free badges saying "I Need a Seat", with "Baby on Board" badges also available for expectant mothers.

It is hoped that their roll-out will promote etiquette on the Metro among its passengers, and make journeys that bit easier for those who find it difficult to stand.

Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “We want all our passengers to have a safe and comfortable journey, especially mums-to-be, the elderly and those with both disabilities and health conditions.

The 'I Need A Seat' initiative has been launched.

“We hope people will embrace the I Need a Seat initiative, choose to wear the badge and that they find travelling on the Metro even easier as a result.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“We appreciate not all disabilities and health conditions are visible, so commuters might not always notice straight away if someone nearby needs a seat. And we’ve all been in that situation where we’re too nervous to ask whether someone needs a seat, in fear that we might be wrong and cause offence.

“The 'I Need a Seat' badge is designed to help people who are less able to stand feel more confident on the Metro and to make journeys less awkward for them and fellow passengers alike."

The badges are free of charge.

All Metro trains already have a number of designated priority seats intended for passengers who have the greatest need for a seat. These can be used by any passenger but, wherever possible, should be given up to someone with greater need.

The campaign is being supported by the Newcastle Disability Forum.

Alison Blackburn, chairman, said: "Wearing an 'I Need a Seat' badge perhaps makes people aware that there are those who may need a little extra time or a bit of a hand when boarding or leaving a Metro, as well as an actual seat. This scheme demonstrates Nexus’ ongoing commitment to supporting the communities it serves.”

*If you want a badge, they are free and available from all Nexus TravelShops and Nexus House.