For some, this dislike in public travel is often a result of poor social etiquette. In this instance etiquette refers to good and bad manners. Here are a couple of examples of bad manners.


In any of the red buses in London, you will always see a blue sign right at the front of the bus, these are the priority seats and in general they are often not required to be used. They are however reserved in busy travel periods for certain groups of people, including the less-abled to stand, pregnant women and the elderly.  However on a busy journey, at peak travel times, the misuse of a priority seat can cause a major issue for a minority of travelers.


The issue of a lack of space is often not addressed on a crowded bus. When people exhibit poor social etiquette such as blocking the passage way, standing in the buggy area, not taking a seat or not moving to the upper deck to name but a few.


An occasion comes to mind on my way home recently with my sister, a mother and toddler, both clearly tired, distressed and in need of a seat boarded our bus.  The priority seats being unavailable to them, my sister and I quickly gave up our seats. No problem for us but extremely helpful for them. Simple good etiquette, nothing special there.


However, I have observed a disturbing trend recently that of reserving seats for pals. This is achieved by placing bags, body parts etc. on seats. This is poor etiquette, because it can tell a number of stories: I want to be alone; I’m waiting for my friend; I just like/need more space than you.


A word of advice when considering confronting these offenders, do not openly berate them!  Instead encourage them to release the spare seat to a standing passenger. This is a common courtesy and it rarely happens these days!  It is not okay people to block gangways and to hog seats, you know who you are. Nor should you be rewarded for offering your elder a seat.


Please note that you may not be able to comprehend the effect that your considerate social etiquette has on other passengers but be reassured that you will have made a positive effect on their day.  Next time you are on public transport, look around; be mindful of the people around you.


Lakavi Suthan, Woodford County High School.