Make sure you know your rights so you can get from A to B with baby on board and avoid a bumpy ride!
Travelling on public transport can be extra tiring when pregnant – and not much fun when you can’t get a seat. That’s why many transport companies have measures in place to make travelling easier for pregnant women.
When it comes to mainline trains around the country, check with your individual rail provider to see if they offer any special assistance for pregnant women. For example, Abellio Greater Anglia, First Great Western, South West Trains and East Midlands offer mums-to-be a free first-class upgrade (when standard class is full) near the end of your pregnancy before maternity leave. Check with the individual train provider to find out what documentation you need to show, and how far along you need to be to be eligible.
Other rail companies provide expectant mothers with a priority card, like Southern Rail and Thameslink, which ensures use of the priority seats on board. While you’re not legally entitled to take a priority seat because you’re pregnant, it is common courtesy for these seats to be offered to those less able to stand. Priority seats are clearly marked and should be offered to you if you’re wearing a badge, or if you ask politely.
If travelling in London on the tube, claim your free ‘Baby on Board’ badge from TFL, which makes it clear you’re pregnant, no matter what stage you’re at. To get your badge, simply fill in this form and TFL will post it to you if you live in the Greater London area or South East England.
Buses and trams
Priority seats on buses (and trams) work much in the same way as trains. They are on a first-come-first-served basis, and are positioned close to doors for easy access. These priority seats will be clearly marked and should be given up for those less able to stand.
Please note however that most bus companies (such as First) will have a priority area with fold-down seats for wheelchairs. Wheelchair users have the priority in this area as they cannot sit elsewhere on the bus. If you are sitting in one of these priority areas, you should vacate the seat for a wheelchair user if they need it.