More than 300 TfL buses now have new priority seating designs, with the entire New Routemaster Bus Fleet to have new moquette by the end of 2025
TfL is making bus travel in the capital more attractive, inclusive and accessible to all with new, prominent priority seating on buses, as it marks the start of its Priority Seating Week to make travelling easier for people with a range of conditions whose need may not be immediately obvious.
One in five bus customers has a visible or non-visible condition and may need a seat while travelling on public transport. Getting a seat can really make a difference to someone’s day and can often be the difference between being able to travel or not.
TfL has been working to improve the comfort and quality of customers’ journeys by installing new priority seating across the bus network, featuring an eye-catching moquette in distinctive colours, with a clear message showing it is a priority seat. More than 300 TfL buses now have more prominent priority seating designs. The design helps people who need a seat, including older and disabled customers and people with non-visible conditions to easily identify these seats, and serves as a helpful reminder to fellow passengers that there may be customers with a greater need of a seat. Half of TfL-owned buses where new priority seat moquette has been installed are on routes serving outer London including route H91, making it easier to get a seat for longer journeys.
TfL’s Priority Seating Week is a dedicated week of action to raise awareness of priority seats across the public transport network which are designed to make travelling easier and more comfortable for people with a range of visible and non-visible conditions. The new seating designs across the TfL bus network build on the successful campaigns TfL has been delivering since it first launched Priority Seating Week in 2017. More than 100,000 Please Offer me a Seat badges have been issued to disabled people and those with non-visible conditions since the campaign was first launched. New priority seating has also been introduced to London Overground and selected London Underground trains to encourage everyone to think about others who have a greater need.
Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “Making the public transport network accessible for all is a top priority for the Mayor, and Londoners can play their part by offering their seat to those who need it.
“Buses are already our most accessible mode of public transport. This rollout will provide even more priority seating on buses and we hope encourage everyone to think about their fellow passengers, helping us to build a better, fairer London for everyone.
“Not all disabilities are visible so, starting with Priority Seating Week, we’re asking all Londoners to be aware of this when travelling, and offer their seat to those who may need it more than them.”
Mark Evers, TfL’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “Priority Seating Week shows our commitment towards making travelling on the public transport network easier and more pleasant for everyone, especially for customers with visible and non-visible conditions.
“This new striking priority seat moquette on buses is designed to make these seats more obvious to people who need them and serves a reminder to others to offer their seat to those who may need it more”.
John McGeachy, Age UK London’s Campaigns Manager, said: “Age UK London has been pleased to support TfL’s Priority Seating Week for several years and we’re excited about this year’s focus on the bus network. Making travel as easy as possible can transform lives. Too many older Londoners experience anxiety before getting on board a bus and concerns about being able to sit down can be a big part of that. It’s great to see increasing awareness of initiatives such as Please Offer Me a Seat badges but there is always more to do and so we really welcome the installation of new Priority Seating and the new designs.”
Preliminary research undertaken by TfL on refurbished New Routemaster buses has found that the new priority seat moquette design has improved the quality of journeys for customers. 100 per cent of priority seat users can now easily recognise them with more than half of all passengers saying their journey experience has improved as a result of the priority seat moquette. Three in five non-users of priority seating on refurbished buses said they are able to recognise the benefits and importance of the new moquette for others who require them. With the improvements, customers travelling on the refurbished buses were also found to be the most satisfied with their journeys with 95 per cent saying they will use that bus again.
More than a quarter (28 per cent) of the new priority seat moquette has been installed on TfL’s New Routemaster buses and the remainder of the fleet will be completed by the end of 2025. Other proposed accessibility and safety improvements on buses include enhancing bus ramps by adding upstands to both edges of the ramp as part of new bus safety standard to better guide ramp users onto and off the bus. This is part of delivering TfL’s commitment to invest in delivering an accessible and inclusive bus network as outlined in our Bus Action Plan, Action on Inclusion Strategy and Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
Priority seat moquette have been installed on New Routemaster buses on routes including 159, 415, H32, 149, 248, 313, 11, 21, 184, 332, H91, 9, 148, and 55, with half of those routes serving outer London. Operator buses serving routes including 63, 322, U5 and 264 also have new prominent priority seat designs
TfL has one of the most accessible bus networks in the world. All bus routes are served by low-floor vehicles with an access ramp and dedicated space for wheelchair users
More than 100,000 Please Offer Me A Seat badges have been given to disabled people and those with invisible conditions since 2017. Customers can also apply for a free ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ badge and card or a ‘Baby on Board’ badge to help them get a seat if they need one. More information on the badges can be found on https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/baby-on-board and https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/please-offer-me-a-seat
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced plans for a major expansion of outer London’s bus network, the Superloop, that would be made up of limited-stop express bus routes around outer London. Londoners interested in the Mayor’s suggestion of improving outer London transport options with an orbital bus route can sign up for updates at https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/superloop
TfL will begin installing more than 300 bus Countdown boards across every borough in the capital. TfL is also trialling a number of new innovative screens on the route 63 between King’s Cross and Honor Oak.
Information and data from the customer survey about priority seating is attached here .New Priority Seating to be installed on TfL buses, improving journeys for customers who need a seat while using public transport as TfL promotes its Priority Seating Week campaign