Priority seating for Southern trains

"This is the worst kind of discrimination! The kind against me."
- Bender

BC regular Monkeyboy spotted this story in the News Shopper, which reports that passengers on the Brockley line may be asked to give up their seat by someone with a card issued to them by operator Southern. A spokesperson said:

"Southern hopes commuters sitting in seats with a sign indicating they are for disabled and elderly people, people with small children or other medical needs will give up their seats if shown the special card."

38 comments:

patrick1971 said...

As the poster on the News Shopper site says, has it really come to this, that we as a society need this sort of system? Surely standing up is just common courtesy?

I predict a very swift black market in these cards should they be introduced...

patrick1971 said...

But if they are going to introduce cards, I wish they would introduce one that said "TURN YOUR F**KING IPOD DOWN". I was on the tube this morning and a woman sitting opposite me and down the carriage a bit had hers on so loud that it could be heard over the noise of the train, AND she was reading a Dostoyevsky novel (i.e. one that would have required some concentration). How on earth could she have taken anything of the novel in with that enormous racket in her ears, apart from the huge disruption she was causing to the rest of the carriage?

Still, I suppose one comfort is that all these loud iPod types will be deaf before they're forty.

I'm now off to join the nearest Grumpy Old Men society.

Headhunter said...

Good intentions obviously, but how are they going to allocate these cards? Will it be up to some underpaid drone at a ticket office to issue them?

I predict the scheme falls flat on its face, I really can't imagine some elderly woman flashing her Southern card at a couple of hoodies and expecting them to actually move.

People who give up their seat for the elderly and diabled don't need a card flashed in their face to make them do it.

Headhunter said...

Ipods seem to leak sound far worse than other MP3 systems I think.

fabhat said...

It might be useful for people who are too embarrassed to ask - showing a card is slightly less intimidating that saying, excuse me will you get up please? Or for women in early pregnancy who feel dreadful,but don't look pregnant...

As for the Ipod thing - if I'm feeling brave, and particularly jangled by the noise, or am going to be be on the journey for quite a while I ask people to turn them down. Most do, once you've asked.

mb said...

expect it was a harry potter in a Dostoyevsky dust jacket.

Hope said...

Why are people so afraid to talk to each other and interact? I know that most people are kind. If you say to someone, "I'm sorry, I feel terrible, is it possible I can sit down" they will help you.

Anonymous said...

Ah Dostoyevsky. The poseur's choice.

Paddyom said...

Surely this was an April Fools story?

Anonymous said...

Depressingly I know of plenty of women who have not had a seat offered to them when they were clearly pregnant - ditto very elderly people who may well be too intimidated to ask someone to give up a seat. The days of common courtesy are dead. For that very reason I can't see this scheme working.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm sure that in any era people the idea that moral standards are declining is a common one. But I don't think it's true to say that courtesy is dead - I see plenty of examples of it every day. Occasionally someone is rude. More likely, they are too squashed-in or busy reading their iphone to notice that someone needs a seat.

fabhat said...

People are often kind - if they notice you need help. Today a lovely teenage boy helped me carry my heavy trolley both up and down the stairs at brockley - and he offered, I didn't ask!
The opposite happened when my brother gave up his seat for an old lady on a crowded train and as he did so a young office worked jumped in. When my brother said that he hadn't given up his seat for a 20 something bloke, but the old lady standing up the guy stayed seated and replied - that's okay I'm getting off in a couple of stops...

Tamsin said...

@ Patrick 1971 - yes, but because they are deaf before they are 40 a fortune of public NHS and other monies will be spent on them - when it is all their own fault - and all public announcments, cinema sound-tracks etc. will be adjusted to their levels of hearing. I already find going to watch a film something of a purgatory and sitting there with my fingrs suffed in my ears is the only way to reduce the soundtrack to a bearable level - which does save me from the pop-corn I suppose!

lb said...

I usually try "I'm sorry, I feel terrible, is it possible I can sit down" when I've got a hangover, but it doesn't seem to cut it with the St Johns commuters. I usually settle for just standing over them looking green and queasy instead.

Hope said...

Kindness, kindness, it starts with the individual. Be kind to others be conspicously so and maybe it might just influence others or at the least it will give them a nice story to tell on blogs.

drakefell debaser said...

Apples earphones are complete jobsworths as they don't fit the ear properly. £20 spent on some noise isolating ear bud type ear phones means you can listen to music at a safer level and not piss people off.

Cards like the one proposed by Southern are used in France and have their merits in certain situations. Common courtesy is rarer in places but it is not dead and I doubt anyone would refuse someone showing an entitlement card.

Comment said...

Good grief! When we did we turn into semi-savages in this country? People need to be told to stand up for those in need? This is ridiculous.

I think there need to be a morality drive or something.

Crofton Parker said...

Patrick1971 I'm with you about the anti-iPod cards. I spend most of my public transport travel these days sitting there seething and fantasising about the construction iPod-killing gadgets.

What would be good would be an invisible pair of scissors, which you would obviously have to work with an invisible arm. It would look like you were sitting there all innocent but then suddenly right in the middle of that tinny noise calibrated exactly to drive you insane - a beautiful silence. The iPlonker would suddenly show signs of life behind their staring dead eyes and would look down in amazement at the dangling wire.

Or there could be a new superhero who would be dressed in a cape made of the woven wires of previous iPod kills, and he would zoom through the carriages slashing the things into silence.

But the cards might be a more realistic solution.

BrockleyBiker said...

"Ipods seem to leak sound far worse than other MP3 systems I think."

That's because, as with most things Apple, the majority of people who buy them are not tech savvy. Anyone with half an ounce of tech sense replaces the OEM headphones as soon as they can. OEM headphones are pointless rubbish.

psyche9 said...

I am amazed people mention iPods as annoying over mobiles. The reason I want to get an iPod i so that i can block out the sound of other people's mobile conversations. I suspect that is why a lot of people have them.

Headhunter said...

....Or while we're on the subject, kids who actually play R&B "music" through the tinny mobile phone speakers at the back of the bus....

This is turning into a grumpy old man/woman thread. But all good points.

Brockley Nick said...

Oh I have to agree about the playing of music through tinny mobile phone speakers. Infuriating in its complete pointlessness.

Crofton Parker said...

Psyche9, mobile phone conversations are not nearly as annoying. It's the human voice at least, versus tinny trashy high-irritation noise. Plus most of my travel is deep in the underground - not a single mobile user, thousands of iPod idiots.

Anonymous said...

teenagers are annoying. It's in the job description.

psyche9 said...

How can a slight tinny sound be more annoying than a self-important pompous bore on a mobile?

Minamon said...

I agree with you completely psyche9.

fabhat said...

Psyche9 and Minamon - Because it's not a slight tinny sound it's 2/3rds of a song you would never listen too, with all the bearable bits blocked out and just the bass, the wailing and the tst tst tst left in.
And it's not just one - generally there will be at least 5 - all playing different tunes - all around you. I find it profoundly annoying, and much harder to concentrate on my own book etc than hearing someone else's phone conversation - or even 5 phone conversations...

Tamsin said...

And one half of a phone converstion can be quite intriguing - as good as TV soap any day.

(On the matter of part heard conversations - my mother, years and years ago, caught this snippet on a bus "He's very well off, he's got two pairs of...." For the rest of her life she was vaguely wondering what on earth this could be, that having two pairs of them was a marker for wealth - Sunday trousers? purdeys? She passed this niggling thought on to me and I pass it on to you - enjoy!)

juniper said...

People on here do love a moan. How about some alternate solutions.

Crofton Parker said...

Gnash. Tamsin that will haunt me forever now. A pair of Faberge earrings? Matching yachts?? Arrghh.

I once heard the very last part of what had clearly been a very heated argument, which concluded with a guy stopping dead as he walked along street, clapping his hands on his legs and roaring at the girl he was with: "MY KNEES ARE HUGE!!!".

Will have to start putting up posters on telegraph poles like the ones from people looking for their dogs. "LOST: CONVERSATION"

Tamsin said...

Glad to spread the puzzlement. And that poor chap, obviously a (knee)bone of great contention.

You are occasionally aware of doing it to other people. My sister, flying in from Europe immediately after the death of my widowed mother, found herself striding through the concourse at Heathrow contacting me by mobile as soon as she could and saying for all around her to hear something along the lines of "right, same as before then - I'll go down and view the body and you do the legal stuff".

Although I fondly believe that my parents were sharing the joke I missed doing so with them.

Anonymous said...

@ patrick1971

You write:

I was on the tube this morning and a woman sitting opposite me and down the carriage a bit had hers on so loud that it could be heard over the noise of the train, AND she was reading a Dostoyevsky novel (i.e. one that would have required some concentration).

I don't know what you're on about. I like to read Beckett novels on dodgems while listening to thrash metal. Learn to multitask!

patrick1971 said...

It's a skill I just don't have, Anon. I can't concentrate on reading a novel AND listening to music. Listening to music can be done during cooking/ironing etc. but not during reading. Maybe I'm the one at fault! :-)

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Anonymous said...

Is this really going to be an issue? As when the trains reach Brockley your lucky if you can get through the doors let alone get a seat!

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