Welcome to the fun, "irreverent & informative", award-winning London Underground Tube Blog.
Click here for other London Underground guidance. Contact me here

Going Underground's Blog
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annie Mole's, webmaster of Going Underground, daily web log (blog).
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, THE fun and informative BOOK about travelling
on the London Underground.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Upgrades for pregnant rail travellers

Although it's not Tube related, I wanted to unearth one of those very well kept rail travel secrets that might be of help to anyone pregnant.

On First Capital Connect trains, if you're pregnant and have a Standard Class Season Ticket, you can get a free upgrade to "First Class "accommodation" (I love that word, I personally never think of train carriages as accommodation - but hey ho), where available, on First Capital Connect services covered by your Season Ticket".

Full details on their website in the penultimate heading on this page.

I saw a hair pulling-out discussion of the fairness or un-PC-ness of this on another site. A lot of the arguments were also about Mother & Baby magazine's initial reporting of this which incorrectly said it applies to all National Rail travel.

Personally, I think it's great news that the system exists on at least one rail service. At the same time, it's a pretty sad state of affairs that we still have to have notices around asking people to give up seats to pregnant women and others who look like they need a seat more than you.

I know there's a number of people who don't look like they need to sit but have various conditions which makes standing difficult, but that doesn't apply to 90% of people in carriages. I know a number of us have our heads in papers and genuinely don't see pregnant women getting on trains - but again that's not 100% of the carriage. I know people worry about offending women by offering seats - but I'd rather risk offending someone and offer a seat. I don't look pregnant but occasionally (and I mean very, very occasionally) get offered a seat just because I'm a woman and I don't see it as offensive or that years of Women's Lib has been thrown out of the window. However, that doesn't mean I think it's a god given right for all women to be given seats.

Baby on Board Badge

It may just be the carriages that I'm on, but I find it's usually other women that offer seats to those pregnant or the elderly (male or female) and they're not prompted to do this because the pregnant one is wearing a "Baby on Board" badge. To me it's just a sense of looking out for other people who might be having a harder time on the train than yourself.

Anyway, I hope other rail services follow First Capital Connect's lead and roll out this service.

; Posted by Unknown Tuesday, February 05, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE