A scheme is being launched on the Tyne-and-Wear Metro to make it easier for expecting mothers to get a seat.

Free badges will be given out to pregnant women to wear on public transport. The badges will make clear that the women are expecting a baby so other Metro users will know to offer them their seats. 

With some pregnant women feeling reluctant to ask other passengers to give up their seats, Metro operator Nexus hopes the badges will overcome the need for any awkwardness and make life easier for mums-to-be.

Similar schemes have been introduced on Metrolink trains in Manchester and on the London Tube. 

The badges have the words ‘Baby on Board’ in black on a yellow background, black and yellow being the colours of the Tyne-and-Wear Metro.

The badges – as well as keyrings with a similar design – will be stocked in all Nexus Travel Shops from May 17th. North-east midwives will also be giving them out to mothers-to-be. 

The managing director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said, “I hope that passengers will embrace this innovative scheme.”

“We’ve all been in that situation where we’re too nervous to ask if someone needs a seat, in fear that we might be wrong and cause offence.” 

“The Baby on Board badge is designed to help women at all stages of pregnancy feel more confident on the Metro, and to make journeys less awkward for pregnant women and fellow passengers alike.” 

Sheila Ford, head of midwifery at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said, “The badges will be particularly useful for those in the early stage of pregnancy.”

“It’s much easier to get a seat when you have a visible, obvious bump, but in the early stages of pregnancy you’re likely to start feeling nauseous, tired and light-headed so being offered a seat makes travel safer as well as more comfortable.”

The Tyne-and-Wear Metro is also bringing in an ‘I Need  Seat’ badge for elderly, injured and disabled people. When ‘I Need a Seat’ badges were introduced on the London Underground, wearers reported that the badge made 72% of journeys easier.

Nexus recently announced plans for a new generation of trains on the Tyne-and-Wear Metro, which will boast air-conditioning, wi-fi and a more efficient seating pattern.

(Featured image courtesy of Paul Robertson, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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