Letter: Seats on the train
Thursday 12 August 1999
Sir: As an expatriate Brit living in Prague, I was interested in your article about giving up seats on public transport ("Need a seat? Try asking for it", 6 August). On the Prague Metro, as soon as an elderly person or a pregnant woman enters the carriage, a seat is offered instantly, as it used to be in England. I think it is the same in most European cities.
Teenagers also give up their seats to the middle-aged (like me). I cannot say I welcomed it at first and used politely to decline the offer, until I realised that this made the young person think that they had done the wrong thing and feel awkward. I now accept with good grace.
In this country aged and disabled people carry a card which entitles them to a seat on public transport, although they seldom need to use it. It seems that a similar law is required in England. This would put an end to the confusion as to what people are entitled to and what is expected of them.
P M IVENS
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