Synopsis

The unseen side of accessibility

Customers with invisible disabilities and conditions find real difficulty getting priority seats:

'I am 28 and have recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I'm often very tired and would love to be offered a seat or help with bags or even just to prevent people tutting at me when I'm walking slowly if they can see I have a badge on'.

This issue is similar to that faced by pregnant women. Every year 200,000 Baby on Board badges are requested. This initiative was a simple and innovative idea to improve travel because people found it hard to tell if someone needed a seat when pregnant, or if they were pregnant. It has been so successful that the badge is used outside the TfL network.

For somebody who's got a hidden disability or a serious chronic illness, you don't necessarily feel up to having that social exchange, asking, and then maybe having to explain your problem in public. It reduces the challenge and it reduces the danger of there being conflict. Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport.