Commuters heading for Penarth often have to stand for 20 minutes or more on the journey - an ordeal for anyone who is pregnant.

Commuters heading for Penarth often have to stand for 20 minutes or more on the daily journey – making every trip an ordeal for anyone who is pregnant.

Arriva Trains – the much-complained-about, German-owned, rail company which operates all the trains into and out of Penarth – says it does not have “a formal policy on priority-seating for pregnant women”.

Arriva has been responding to criticism from an anonymous woman who is pregnant with her second child but who has to travel every day on the 07.55 or 08.10  from Caerphilly to Penarth.

The mother-to-be – who wishes to remain anonymous – has told WalesonLine she is being forced to remain standing on ram-packed Arriva trains because there are no vacant seats. Usually, rather than getting up and offering their place to her, all the other passengers just remain sitting.

Arriva Trains staff told the pregnant passenger they were sure other passengers would give up their seats. They didn't

Arriva Trains staff told the pregnant passenger they were sure other passengers would give up their seats for her…but they didn’t budge.

Arriva is required by law to give priority to disabled people – and does – but apparently has no policy when it comes to the needs of pregnant women .  The Penarth-bound mum  now even wears badges to make sure fellow commuters are made aware that she’s expecting – but they make no difference; other travellers just take no notice.

She says “Everyone wants to sit down, but pregnant women really struggle. I have swollen feet, bad pains and the bigger I get, the more I lose my balance. I also feel sick with the smell of standing so close to some people.”

The situation has allegedly been made worse by the train company’s decision to reduce the length of trains to just two carriages rather than four –  and those standing can’t usually get a seat until the crowded train has disgorged passengers en route at Queen St Station.

Arriva Trains says  “Whilst we do not have a formal policy on priority seating for pregnant women, we would encourage our customers, out of common courtesy, to give up their seat to pregnant women where required.”

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Miss R says:

    Unless you have been pregnant and particularly if you have a bad pregnancy you will NEVER begin to understand how hard it is. It basically is a disability, albeit a short lived one. I find nothing worse than seeing other women who have had easy pregnancies slate other mothers who believe they should have priority seating, when instead they should just be thanking their lucky stars they haven’t had to be subjected to the hell that some of us go through.

  2. Martin Coffee says:

    In spite of the complaints I find Arriva Trains Wales to be one of the better run Train Operating Companies. Their services have some of the cleanest trains in the country. Their contract assumed that passenger numbers would be constant but have increased roughly in line with the rest of the UK and on that basic have run the services remarkably well.

    Abellio are one of the companies short listed to take over the Wales and Borders contract. Be very careful what you wish for. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37799732

  3. The Tax payer says:

    I would so love to reply to Miss R. But that would be Seen as sexist. Funny thing is equal opportunities seem to apply when its convenient for some people !!!

    • Fiona Whitfield says:

      I feel that I must say that I am furious with this comment . Equal Opportunities ? When did men start having babies ha ha ha . Then we would see pregnant only trains set up with a more frequent service! Oh and once a month carriages with hot water bottles, now call me sexist

  4. AK says:

    A sad reflection on society that such a ‘policy’ should even be mentioned or considered.

    Whatever happened to courtesy, consideration and good manners ?

  5. snoggerdog says:

    shame them (in a loud voice).

  6. Andrew Worsley says:

    Martin Coffee I thought this item was about pregnant women kept standing on full trains and no one being courteous enough to give up their seat?. Of course unless their pregnancy has become noticeable or should I say obvious then no one would know of their condition!!? .

    • AK says:

      Why let the title of the article get in the way of a good party political debate ?

      It rarely does

  7. Jean Thomas says:

    Until the council get around to making a one way system around the shopping area, including Windsor Road and Plassey Street, there doesn’t seem to be any other way of creating any more parking places. Pedestrianising the town centre, with the bottom of Glebe Street dedicated to disabled parking, would allow for events to be held in the town centre, i.e. Father Christmas, without upsetting the flow of traffic, such as buses. With more and more houses being built in Sully and Lavernock the town centre will eventually come to a standstill. If you want people to come to Penarth then create the necessary parking facilities, surely a few one way signs wouldn’t break the bank.

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