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07 March 2005

Testing Tube Babies to Be

The Antagonist has long maintained that if cattle were transported in the same conditions that London's commuters face as they endure their daily journeys to and from their places of work, there would be a public outcry.

Today, in both a confirmation of the fact the tube system is struggling under the strain of the insane levels of traffic it has to face each day, and a worrying indictment of Londoner's ability to distinguish between 'fat' women and 'pregnant' women, London Underground (LU) announced that it is to give special badges to pregnant women in a drive to encourage people to give up their seats to mums-to-be.

If there are no seats on trains for pregnant women and, if pregnant women are entitled to seats, the implication is that there are generally not enough seats available. Most commuters in London will tell you that there isn't even enough space to stand most of the time so no one's even likely to see these badges unless pregnant women stick them to their foreheads or wear them on the end of Deeley Bopper-style head attachments.

That there is a deficiency in both seats and space on tube trains suggests that the service isn't adequately coping with demand and that, perhaps, money would be better spent addressing more fundamental service issues than issuing badges that don't really improve the tube experience for anyone.

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