Letter: No seat on the train

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I feel great sympathy for the pregnant Thameslink commuter who had to stand, as I too am pregnant and commute into central London daily. However, did she not ask anyone for a seat?

I am only 16 weeks pregnant and therefore I don't really "show" yet, so if I am to get a seat I have to ask for one. So far I haven't had any refusals and only one challenge, a man who quickly backed down and gladly gave up his seat on finding out "my condition".

I have a feeling I will still have to take this approach once I look very pregnant, for people do not notice these things. Commuters are a very insular and cocooned breed who go on to autopilot every morning, oblivious to their surroundings. If asked to describe fellow passengers after a Tube journey most people would have great difficulty.

I agree with Deborah Orr ("Need a seat? Try asking for it", 6 August). It would be wonderful if we could return to the days when we all played by the same rules of courtesy, but in today's world if you don't ask you don't get. And as a pregnant woman I do not think I have any more rights than the old, infirm, disabled and anyone else who may have a problem standing on the Tube.

RACHEL GENT

Reading, Berkshire

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