Irish people encouraged to give up seats on public transport for pregnant women

Irish people encouraged to give up seats on public transport for pregnant women

IRISH public transport users are being urged to give up their seats to women who are expecting.

A new pilot project, similar to those in place in other countries such as Britain, is encouraging women to wear 'baby on board' badges on buses and trains when they're pregnant.

The scheme is designed to clear up confusion among passengers who have to guess if certain people need a rest.

Irish Rail's Barry Kenny told Beat 102-103 FM that there are situations where it may not be entirely clear.

He said: "We have busy trains and if you’re travelling anywhere in the world at peak time in urban areas there is going to be standing and there is going to be sitting but some people need the seat more than others.

"The idea is to talk some of the awkwardness out of the situation."

The new pilot project follows a similar scheme rolled out in Britain two years ago, in which blue badges were trialed for pregnant women on buses and trains – especially in London.

In 2016, Transport for London (TfL) recruited 1,000 people to take part in a six-week trial to assess how successful the 'please offer me a seat' badges were on public transport.

The project's creator, James McNaught, said at the time: "Getting a seat on transport when you need it can sometimes be really tricky, especially if the reason you need to sit down isn't obvious to others.

"When I was undergoing radiotherapy for throat cancer, it meant I couldn't talk to ask for a seat and the morphine I was taking made me appear drunk.

"It was a real struggle to get people to understand why I needed to sit down. I'm really pleased TfL is doing this trial.

"A badge and card could help make a real difference to the lives of people undergoing drug treatment or with longer term conditions or disabilities."