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Monday, March 26, 2012

"Take away free travel from Rude Youths" - Boris Johnson transport manifesto pledge

Many of you will have heard Boris Johnson's transport manifesto for his re-election campaign. Most bloggers and press are focussing on his
pledge to introduce driverless Tube trains, however in the transport plan there's another rather bizarre pledge.

Boris has said as part of his plan he would withdraw the right to free public transport from young people (under-16's get free bus travel) who refuse to give up their seats for people who are elderly, pregnant or disabled.

Baby on Board Badge

Apparently the scheme, which would operate on a two strikes and you're out policy, would also apply to youngsters using offensive or threatening language on public transport.

Feet on Tube seats

A spokesman for the mayor said the plan would cost Londoners nothing and be "self-enforcing".

Self enforcing? So that implies that other people are going to have to report youths to someone - London Underground station staff, the BTP, TfL - who knows?! And say what? "I heard a young person using the F-word a lot". "A girl with hooped earrings kissed her teeth at me when I told her to take her feet off the seats".

Considerate feet on seat by Route 79

In all seriousness can anyone see this actually happening? Also who deems what is offensive. Certain people pepper their sentences with swear words all the time and actually don't mean to be offensive.

Many Londoners feel embarrassed enough asking people (youths or adults) to give up their seats for pregnant women or those who are elderly or generally look as if they are in need of a seat.

Also why just penalise youths for this behaviour?  If  Boris seriously thinks anti social behaviour in public transport is so awful why not ban everyone who is offensive on public transport.  He banned drinking alcohol, who why not just ban swearing in general and offer a two strikes on your out rule for people who don't give up their seats to those who need them?

TfL's new "considerate Londoner" campaign

Shouldn't more be done to make everyone behave more considerately to others on public transport?  Even though Boris believes his pledge "would cost Londoners nothing", he's wrong.  There is always a cost to policing something, even a fairly bonkers idea like this one.  Why not spend a bit more money on posters which are not as mawkish as the ones TfL introduced a few years back?

If you're near a radio or internet that has access to Radio 5 Live today at 5.20pm (ish) listen out for my dulcet tones on the subject.  But in the meantime feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. 

You might also like
Baby on Board Badges - How big should they be?
Baby on Board inspired Tube Badges
Livingstone launches new Tube priority seating
No "Man Sitting" on the train badge
Feet on Tube Seats Fine 
Are you a considerate passenger? 


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