FOI request detail

History of Priority Seating

Request ID: FOI-2415-2122
Date published: 07 February 2022

You asked

Please provide me with the date and any context/press release about the first 'Priority Seating' on the London Underground and/or London buses. I would like to know the first date when seats were visibly identified as 'Priority Seats' or otherwise as for pregnant women, the elderly, or another vulnerable group.

We answered

TfL Ref: 2415-2122

Thank you for your clarified request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26 January 2022 asking for information about the first date when seats on tubes and buses were visibly identified as 'Priority Seats' or otherwise as for pregnant women, the elderly, or another vulnerable group.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.  I can confirm that we hold the information you require.

We have conducted some searches of our Corporate Archives catalogue for the information you have requested which has then allowed us to follow up and look for related articles in our staff magazines. Attached are our search results from the catalogue. Searching the staff magazines for 1976 we found the attached article from 13 February 1976.

We have some information available on redesigning the stickers for buses from 1989 which we have also attached for interest.

If you would like to trace the narrative through our staff magazines are now available online via our Digital Collections portal:

The magazines cover 1914-1994 and contain articles on sporting and social activities, key events, developments, and our history. A researcher can navigate to the bottom of the homepage and find a section called "This month we love.." There is a link to the staff magazines here. Click that to take you to the folder level descriptions for each magazine. Open the folder of your choice and then the file within. This will open a searchable PDF.

You can then use the "Find in document" tool (the little magnifying glass) to text search the magazine you have open for Queen's Park or Bakerloo etc.

Unfortunately, the Corporate Archives reading room is currently closed due to Covid-19 and an office move. Any physical files cannot be accessed at this time. If any items are of interest, please let the Corporate Archives team know which items you’d like to access at: [email protected] – they will get in touch with you once the onsite research service is operational. At present we do not have a firm date when this will be but this remains under constant review.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London


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