Feet on seats

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Rob F, 13 Aug 2019.

  1. Rob F

    Rob F Member

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    Interesting article in the latest Rail magazine about passengers putting their feet on seats. Personally I find this totally unacceptable but so many people seem to do it maybe I am out of step and society thinks it is OK.

    There seems little hope of doing anything about it if the on train staff accept it as normal. During my travels in Cornwall last week a young lady (16 or 17 years old) was sat in a pair of airline seats on an IET with her back to the wall and her feet, with shoes, on the adjacent seat. She was not aggressive or threatening in any way but obviously thought there was nothing wrong with what she was doing. She will continue to think this as the train manager first walked past without saying anything and then to my surprise she returned 5 minutes later to perform a ticket check and actually checked her ticket whilst the passenger’s feet where still on the seat and still made no comment.

    I was tempted to say something myself but desisted. If the staff can’t be bothered why should I? Maybe I am just turning into a grumpy old git!
     
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  3. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Our 314s still have signs on each seating bay reading: "PLEASE DO NOT PUT FEET ON THE SEATS".

    I believe it's also against the bye-laws.
     
  4. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I get very uncomfortable when I see people with feet on seats. Ultimately it's an issue of hygiene for me, why would you want to sit on seat which has debris deposited by shoes. Yuck
     
  5. lxfe_mxtterz

    lxfe_mxtterz Member

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    Agreed - passengers putting their feet on seats is indeed unacceptable and not a pleasant sight either, especially when you have no clue where their shoes have been! For all we know, their shoes could have stepped in something nasty earlier in the day, and someone will eventually have to sit on that seat! :(

    What I find most disgusting, however, is when passengers take off their shoes and put their bare feet on seats. This is really revolting, and I've seen a fair amount of photos on Twitter of situations like this. All of which have really made me quite angry, and of course disgusted! <(
     
  6. Mugby

    Mugby Established Member

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    A true story, I kid you not:

    A good few years ago, I travelled on an Irish Railways train out of Dublin Heuston, it was an Inter-City service with loco and Mk3 coaches.
    Before leaving, the guard actually made an announcement: "Would you please not be putting your feet on the seats"

    And then he sort of nullified it by adding "Especially if you have dirty shoes!"
     
  7. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Shame not more operators are like Merseyrail who charge £50 (?) if someone is caught with feet on seat by bylaw enforcement officers
     
  8. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    It's definitely not acceptable, it's simply that most people don't say anything.

    Much of the country's problems stem from it being so passive and willing to put up with inconsiderate behaviour.

    Not only will I say something, I have also challenged conductors as to why they have ignored the soiling of company property.

    Travel on a Merseyrail train and you will see a carriage of facing seats with everyone having their feet on the floor, where they should be. Those few new-to-town slobs who don't follow suit soon learn that it's not on, and here's to that!
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2019
  9. py_megapixel

    py_megapixel Member

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    Putting feet on seats is clearly unhygienic. Worse, I have seen cases where people will have their feet on the seats even on a crowded train. This is clearly unacceptable, because you are taking up a seat which could accommodate one of the standing passengers. Those who do this should be charged for two tickets, not one.
     
  10. Essexman

    Essexman Member

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    Maybe need more announcements but train staff rarely say anything.

    Someone had a small dog sitting on the table (no blanket) all the way to Devon on Sunday but the train manager didn’t say anything.
     
  11. Pluto

    Pluto Member

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    I have seen conductors ask people to remove their feet from the seats, not that they should need to be asked, on the other hand I've seen staff with their feet on the seats. It would be nice to see offenders fined for this disgusting practice.
     
  12. Fawkes Cat

    Fawkes Cat Member

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    For the avoidance of doubt, I agree that no-one should put their feet on seats, but unhygienic? How?

    Have I misunderstood the nature of this forum, and actually it's for people who lick train seats? Alternatively, am I the only one on this list who wears trousers and underpants which separate my body from railway seats?
     
  13. py_megapixel

    py_megapixel Member

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    No. But if you went into a restaurant and were asked to sit at a table with the chairs covered in food scraps, and the excuse was "sorry, our last customers preferred to put their food on chairs rather than tables and we didn't have time to clean it - but don't worry, you have trousers!" you wouldn't be happy!

    The point I am trying to make is that many people do not want debris from their shoes on their trousers.
     
  14. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    I think this is one of those minor issues that winds people on this forum up disproportionately.

    For me it is lower down the list of annoying behaviours than music played on loud speaker, smelly food, litter etc.

    If there’s visible mud or excrement on the shoes I agree, but otherwise I’m not sure I see how shoes on seats is unhygienic.

    For all you know someone has sat on the seat and soiled themselves earlier and that seat will have been occupied by innumerable rear ends of varying degrees of hygiene.

    If it worries you that much it might be better not to sit on public seats at all.

    That’s all very well until you encounter the “wrong” person.

    With respect, is that really anything to do with you?

    The answer in many cases will be because they are working alone and don’t want the aggro or to end up being assaulted. I doubt you’d be happy if they ordered the culprit to leave and delayed the train until they did so, which is their only real sanction.

    I regularly see scummers openly smoking on platforms (and sometimes on the train) when changing ends. I don’t bother saying anything because all that will happen is that I’ll be sworn at and/or assaulted.

    Unfortunately we now live in a world where there is no respect for authority of any kind. Giving someone a “ticking off” nowadays will likely lead to a confrontation, being assaulted, or being videoed and splashed all over social media.

    I’ve long suspected that there are posters on here who indulge their passion for the railway in “unconventional” ways! :D
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2019
  15. Envoy

    Envoy Established Member

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    Rob F - no, you are not becoming a grumpy old git as it is a disgusting thing to do. For all we know, these people have just come from a toilet where the floor is covered in urine - as it was in one station I recently visited and refused to go in. Furthermore, the seats are likely to deteriorate quicker than if seats are kept clear of feet. Dogs should also not be allowed onto seats or tables. Staff should be required to tell people off for doing this.

    I would also like to suggest that antimacassars should be fitted on all seats so that the head area does not become grimy. This would surely save money in the long run as the seats would not need replacing so frequently.
     
  16. work-traveller

    work-traveller Member

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    Being a contrary fellow, I've been known to deliberately go and sit on a seat which has a scuzzbucket opposite with their feet on the seat. I'll generally accompany by 'excuse me' with a smile.

    Similarly, when I've seen appalling examples of manspread, I'll sometimes pitch up in the adjacent seat and push their leg back in line with their own seat, in order to reclaim the space in front on my own seat.

    It adds a positive note to the day by preventing these knuckle-draggers from normalising their behaviour.
     
  17. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    Bare feet is going to be better than shoed feet. Bare feet have socks and shoes protecting them from the outside world, so are far more likely to be clean.
     
  18. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    If people have stepped in dog turd, for example.
     
  19. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    The problem is unless you are a higher authority, you have no way of enforcing anything on anybody, so all they have to do is tell you to eff off, then what? If you confront the wrong person they might decide to physically retaliate, are you prepared for that and prepared to finish what you start? If you are going to call out a stranger, first ask yourself what you are going to do if they get aggressive and/or abusive. Surrounding yourself in a cloak of righteousness won't protect you from a beating.

    I do agree with you to an extent, but it is not as simple as "call someone out".
     
  20. Vinnym

    Vinnym Member

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    I am a regular user of Merseyrail and see many, many people with their feet on seats, I have seen guards and ticket inspectors regularly ignore people with feet on seats. Although once recently I did see a guard ask people to remove their feet from the seats. No £50 fine imposed though.
     
  21. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    An excellent post which sums things up very succinctly. Just one thing to add, so even if the guard does deliver a ticking off, what’s to stop the person putting their feet back on the seat the moment the guard’s back is turned? The answer is of course nothing, so in reality is makes intervention fairly pointless unless the guard is walking up and down the train constantly.

    A solution is of course bye law enforcement officers like on Merseyrail, where people know that if caught it won’t just be a feeble ticking off from the guard but a fine and/or being thrown off the train. Money talks. Having said that, do we really want our trains being patrolled by what are essentially security guards? For me this brings with it a rather oppressive atmosphere.
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2019
  22. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Excellent post. Some of the posts on here encouraging “calling out” of bad behaviours are irresponsible. Even those who are well built aren’t invincible, as was demonstrated in tragic circumstances on the Guildford train. If one is going to get into a potential scrap with someone then there’s certain prerequisites - most importantly of all a place of safety to retreat to. The only people who will have that on a train are the on-duty staff working that particular train at the time.

    It’s just not worth it over a bit of mud on a TOC’s seat.
     
  23. R G NOW.

    R G NOW. Member

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    I remember when I last travelled to Bristol temple meads on the great Malvern to weymouth train. A person was sat on the opposite side of the train with legs crossed, reading a metro paper. After he had finished it, he chucked it on the opposite seat and stuck up his feet, onto the paper.
     
  24. Pluto

    Pluto Member

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    I've seen people put a newspaper on the seat which at least keeps the seat clean, why people can't just keep their feet on the floor I don't know.
     
  25. EMD

    EMD Member

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    This and the post you responded to are genuinely sad. They show how the society has been beaten into mental obedience and it's only going to get downhill from here. Lack of social disapproval to antisocial behaviour leads to deterioration of basic social foundations and social decay.

    Feet on seats are one of many examples of antisocial behaviour that we have to deal with on public transport these days, another pet peeve of mine is people who shout on their phones and people who use their loudspeakers as if they were at home, not giving single f about being considerate.
     
  26. R G NOW.

    R G NOW. Member

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    I always have, I never have put my feet on seats.
     
  27. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    I wish people wouldn't do it. But life's too short to waste getting worked up about it.

    See also: Quiet Zones.
     
  28. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Yes you’re absolutely right it *is* sad.

    But we don’t live in a utopia, having to tolerate negative things is part of life. Most of my summer holiday plans this year have been completely messed up thanks to the weather, but some things are just a fact of life.

    It doesn’t mean we necessarily have to tolerate things, but there’s right and wrong ways of dealing with situations. Entering into a potential conflict with a random stranger within the confines of a train carriage is definitely not the right way.
     
  29. EMD

    EMD Member

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    And who else is supposed to do this then if it's not up to society to handle situations like this? I have learnt quite a lot thanks to social pressure but then again I'm old enough to remember the times when discipline was seen as part of upbringing not something that you can be taken to court for.
     
  30. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    If enough people complain then things like enforcement officers can be brought in, albeit that they’re not free, so you and I will be paying for them indirectly.

    As well as being injudicious from a purely practical point of view, I have to say I’m not a fan of vigilante action. The difficulty arises when some people start to feel that their own personal preferences equal the law. You might feel comfortable with someone effectively bullying someone else into taking their feet off a seat, but would you feel comfortable with someone doing the same to someone for taking photos on a station platform (an activity which *is* allowed)? Hence why law enforcement is best left to professionals IMV. Whether a bye law enforcement officer counts as professional may well be a subject for debate!
     
  31. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    We have “Railway Enforcement Officers”, who, while better than nothing, are a mixed bag in some respects.


    For one thing they aren’t deployed properly. The “hot spots” on the DOO part of our network are where they are most needed, but they tend to remain clustered around the major stations which have a large staff presence in any case.


    They are useful at “encouraging” stragglers to leave when platform staff are locking out vomit comets on a Friday/Saturday night, but don’t seem to be deployed to deal with the groups of assorted chavs, druggies and other idiots who frequent many of the quiet stations on our network, often to be seen at this time of year drinking and smoking in platform shelters!


    While they look the part they are fundamentally limited because they lack the ability to arrest/taser/handcuff miscreants in the same way as police officers. If the subject is belligerent enough they will back away rather than use force.


    I *believe* they have the same powers if revenue enforcement officers to interview under PACE etc. for bylaw violations but their ultimate sanction is to limply threaten to call the police if the subject refuses to answer their questions.


    I hate to say it but you have a point here!

    It’s a bit of a bum job for obvious reasons - some REOs are excellent but the job does seem to attract more than its fair share of people wanting a cushy number, or (worse!) those who enjoy wearing a uniform and wielding a bit of power.
     

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