People with hidden disabilities can be supplied with “please offer me a seat” badges by TfL in a bid to ease their suffering on London transport.

The blue circular badges are being issued as part of a six-week trial following the success of the “baby on board” badges for pregnant women.

TfL is recruiting 1,000 people to take part in order to assess how successful it is for passengers and how others react.

It follows feedback that suggested people with hidden conditions find it difficult to get a seat when they need one.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “We hope that these new blue badges can make a real difference to those who find it difficult to get a seat when they need one, particularly those with hidden disabilities.

“Everyone who travels around London knows about the success of the baby on board badges. I want Londoners to embrace our new trial and help these blue badges become as instantly-recognisable, giving confidence to those wearing them on public transport across London.”

Travellers including James McNaught, who is joining the trial, had already started making their own badges to alert passengers.

James designed “cancer on board” badges after he had to travel for chemotherapy.

The radiotherapy on his throat left him unable to speak and ask for a seat and the morphine made him appear drunk.

He said: “Getting a seat on transport when you need it can sometimes be really tricky, especially if the reason you need to sit down isn’t obvious to others.

“When I was undergoing radiotherapy for throat cancer, it meant I couldn’t talk to ask for a seat and the morphine I was taking made me appear drunk.

“It was a real struggle to get people to understand why I needed to sit down. I’m really pleased TfL is doing this trial. A badge and card could help make a real difference to the lives of people undergoing drug treatment or with longer term conditions or disabilities.”

Any customers interested in taking part can get in touch with the research agency 2CV, who are working with TfL on the trial, at tfltrial@2cv.com

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