Train seats!


Has anyone ever asked occupants of the “blue label” seats on South West Trains or other if they could have the seat instead? These seats state that they should be given up if needed by someone with a disability, but in my experience the occupants are oblivious to this and never volunteer the seats (burying their heads in their newspapers) - even when someone nearby like myself is having to stand with a walking stick. Very uncomfortable and difficult for me to manage this for the daily 50 min commute into Waterloo.

Have been nervous about asking people if I could have a seat instead (also you don’t know if they have any disability themselves).

Your thoughts appreciated!



it happened to me twice on Scot rail yes they sit there ignoring the fact you have a stick.

First time i wrote to them and they said to find a conductor, now i have to trail through a train looking for one. Second time i went on i boarded next to first class again it happened and then i walked into first class, waited till the conductor came to move me , didnt turn up so travelled first class between glasgow and edinburgh, my opinion was Scot rail didn’t give a toss.

Trish had the right idea!

I went to Leeds on the train, a few weeks back and arranged assistance, as i am a wheelie user.

On the return journey, the guard placed the ramp out for me and spoke to a young mum, with a toddler, a baby in a buggy and a load of shopping bags.

She had comfortably positioned herself in the place which is clearly signposted for the use of wheelchair users.

he told her to move from the space she was in and get off the carriage, go down the platform and board a different carriage. well no-one helped her and boy.did I feel awful!

Like you, I would feel embarrassed to ask someone to stand for me.

We would be right to do this, but however politely we ask, we dont know what reaction we might get.

Hmmm, difficult one.

luv Pollx

I don’t travel at peak hours these days, so no experience to offer. But I would encourage you to ask the person to give up the seat while politely asking them to excuse you if they themselves have a disability. In a busy train you can hardly do this without other passengers hearing so, even if the seat-occupier is reluctant to shift, it is likely that some other seated passenger will offer you his or her seat instead, so you can all sit glowering at the miscreant for the rest of the journey. I think you would be very unlucky to meet with anything other than a quickly vacated seat and flustered apologies, though. I wish you success.


I used to travel frequently between Leeds & Kings Cross when. My hubby was working down there, and even though I’d pre book my seats prior to travelling I never got to sit in said seat. I once politelly challenged a young girl who was sat in my seat only for her to turn and say it!s tough someones sat in my seat too. I hobbled away with my stick and stood halfway of the journey. It’s maddening especially when theres no guard around. Really is a difficult one :frowning: Sue xx

Oh how maddening and especially when you`d booked.

luv Pollx

Certainley was Poll, thank goodness he’s no longer there dont think I could have stood another 2 yrs of it. Sue x

Hi Mel,

Not a direct answer to your question, but I boarded the train one day, and noticed there were two disabled-label seats at a table, just inside the door. One (the aisle seat) appeared to have somebody’s stuff on it - coat etc - but no sign of the occupant.

The other, nearest the window, was free. I took the window seat.

At this point I will add that I’m not visibly disabled - i.e. no stick or other accoutrements - but I do find it difficult to negotiate the whole length of the carriage, with the luggage, looking for a seat.

Anyway, I’d sat down, and with that, the “lady” (I use the term advisedly) returned, and greeted me with: “Couldn’t you see there was somebody sitting here?”

“Yes, but these are two seats, not one, and I couldn’t see why I should not sit in the vacant one!”

I made quite clear I was not going to get up and move. Even in the unlikely event she has an invisible disability, like me, why on earth should she think it gives her the right to command TWO disabled seats, and the table, all to herself, with just the one ticket?

She sighed deeply, rolled her eyes, and got up and moved, as if it was ME that was being impertinent!



P.S. To Bambi: if that ever happens again (though it’s less likely, now you don’t use that service any more), inform the ticket collector when he comes through. He’ll deal with it for you. Obviously, it doesn’t matter when there are plenty of other seats to choose from, but there is no way you should be having to stand, whilst someone else occupies your BOOKED seat.



Hi Mel,

Interesting question. Think if the train was packed I would flash my MS card, or blue badge, at blue badge seats, if you have one and say something like.

Is anyone able to give me a seat? If they are disabled they’d probably say sorry no, and I’m sure if they said no then some other kind person nearby would give you a seat.

Otherwise sitting in first class disabled is great idea - will remember that one.

Be brave and good luck,

Jen x

A friend of mine who is in poor health was travelling on the underground. A lady refused to move her dog who was occupying 2 spaces so that she could sit down!

Having said that I am not in the first flush of youth, but by no means elderly and a young lady offered me her seat on the tube in London today. I am obviously kidding myself!! I was gracious in my acceptance…

Prior to my dx I worked in London and commuted one hour, twice a day. When I was pregnant I was offered a TFL “baby on board” badge, which worked a charm for getting a seat. Now I’m not suggesting that we should now all wear a badge saying “I have MS, give me your seat”, but I do think that sometimes you do have to ask. Some people are just oblivious and not necessarily being ignorant or rude! Saying that, there are always some rude people so then it’s best to see a member of staff (even before you get on maybe) or raise your voice loud enough to seriously embarrass them!! X

i dont travel long distances by train but the last time i did was horrendous

it was just before my diagnosis and i had no idea why i was so tired or why i kept falling.

work had booked me a ticket from wigan to birmingham to a conference

on the way there it was brilliant. it was a virgin train and very comfortable.

but on the return journey (when i really wanted to go to bed) i found that the train had been cancelled.

several other trains go to wigan but they were all on different platforms. i ended up going to one and just missing it.

then another which was full.

i finally got on a train and had to stand all the way back

i slept for 2 days after

carole x

Thanks for all the suggestions, much appreciated!



Was on the bus on Friday night and a bloke got up and offered me his seat, although to be fair I think he may have thought I was pissed as I was swaying all over the place.

Just as a note, if there is someone in your seat, go to first class and sit down there (in an empty seat). If/when the ticket collector comes round, explain the situation to them. They should go off and move said person (no confrontation with yourself). Sometimes they will leave you there instead.