After a successful trial, the Transport for London ‘Please Offer Me A Seat’ blue badge is to be officially rolled out in 2017! This is a momentous day – not only for those of us with invisible disabilities, but also for the whole of the UK! This marks a major step forward in the conscious efforts we are making as a society to improve the lives of those of us living with invisible conditions.
The badge trial ran for 6 weeks and included roughly 1,000 participants – I was extremely proud to be one of those – found that more than 72% of journeys were made easier with the badge. A further 86% of participants felt more confident when asking for a seat. I agree totally with these statistics! I discussed my personal experience in the blog, Should I have to defend my disability?, the difficulties having an invisible disability can bring. A lot of those challenges have been hugely eased since the launch of the badge and I am over the moon that it is going to be rolled out and able to benefit others!
As happy as I am, I am well aware that we have a long way to. Even with these badges, we need to be working together on a mind-set shift. London can be a chaotic environment, which means it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own life stresses. I hope these little badges can be blue beacons to remind you that there are others in need of your help. They aren’t trying to “take” your seat, they NEED your seat. Through the simple addition of a little blue badge, TFL and Londoners can not only improve someone’s day, but someone’s life. This has been like a lovely Christmas present from TFL and I know it will change the lives of so many people.
I’m thinking about coordinating some kind of ‘sit in’ tube ride to mark the badge launch day in 2017. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved!