These past couple of weeks there has been a guy with a broken leg getting on my train in the morning at Vauxhall. I try and keep an eye out for him because I can be a little, well, focused when getting on the train in the morning and I don’t want it to be me that barrels him out of the way in my haste to get the best seat. He’s probably fortunate (apart from the broken leg part, of course) that he gets on at Vauxhall where the train still has a fair selection of seats and not at Clapham Junction where it’s every commuter for themselves – although at least there the crutches would come in handy as weapons. This morning he chose to sit opposite me (after a bit of rearrangement from some other passengers so he could get the aisle seat – see, we’re not all terrible people) in the three-by-two beside the doors, where he had room to stow his crutches and stretch out his cast for the journey. Was this the disabled priority seat on the carriage? It was not. The disabled priority seats are airline style – mmm, handy with a broken leg – and not even the closest to the door. It took me weeks to even notice they were there, because who on earth would put the disabled seats miles from the door? Even Silverlink wasn’t that stupid.
I would like to have been a fly on the wall when that particular piece of insanity was decided on. What was the reasoning? Oh, stick the cripples at the back where they won’t upset the other passengers? Give them space to stretch out and they’ll just leave their crutches lying around cluttering up our nice trains? Give me strength. Or rather, give them a week in a cast with some crutches, and see how they like it then.