Some Metro readers believe they have the right to take up as much space as they want on public transport, while others disagree.
■ Regarding Gordon from Glasgow saying to just ask bus passengers to carry bags left on the seats (MetroTalk, Thurs), I mainly walk in London or take a taxi – but when I must use a bus, always occupy two seats. I don’t want anyone sitting next to me, sneezing or coughing. When challenged, I say the seat is reserved. Or ignore them. It never fails.
Steve Black, Richmond
■ I wish other passengers could be as nice as the ones Gordon describes and move their luggage when asked.
I’ve seen passengers ignore people who ask if they can take an empty seat or try to pretend they have to leave their bags there instead of putting them on their laps or on the floor.
I’ve even seen a woman on a train pretend to be asleep as passengers boarded, hands tightly gripping the straps of her purse that was lying on the seat next to her – only to conveniently “wake up” as soon as everyone was sat down or moved to another wagon.
Gordon is right, simple human interactions work – as long as the person on the other end wants to behave like a civilian.
■ I was on a train from London to Nottinghamshire and my seat was reserved. I politely asked a woman to remove her bag and showed her my ticket, but she flatly refused. I was annoyed and caught the waitress. Instead of making her lug around her bags, he found me another seat two cars down.
Marianne Kellet, via email
■ I was sitting on a tram, bag on the floor, an empty seat next to me and other single seats scattered around. A lady with several tote bags came in, put her on the empty seat and asked me to move so she could sit down.
When I refused, pointing out that if she put her bags on the floor, there would be a place for him, she claimed they couldn’t possibly go on the floor — and spent the rest of the drive yelling at me about the Manners of swearing at young people.
Bicycle parking spaces on trains are not for passengers
■ How many times I’ve been glared at for daring to board a train with a bicycle! I use the train and bike because I can’t afford the car and it’s the most sustainable and convenient option. Bicycle parking spaces on trains are often occupied by people and luggage. Railway companies must train staff to ensure they are used with bicycles.
A flip side to the F word
■ Regarding the use of swear words (MetroTalk, Do): When my kids were little, one told me the other used the F-word.
I was a bit surprised because we don’t use that kind of language at home, but I managed not to overreact and went a bit deeper. Turns out the F-word was “flip.”
■ If you think people need to stop demonizing the use of swearing, or think that swear words are being used to lighten spirits, I couldn’t agree less with you.
I will cover my ears when I hear swear words, as is rightly suggested.
I too hate swear words and would even argue that their use is based on complete ignorance.
■ Those who find it acceptable to use the F-word need to be reminded that it was originally used as an aggressive and threatening word. Also, I believe it’s a substitute for “um” or used when people can’t put a sentence together.
■ Recently I had to ask a group of men in my place to turn down the volume because their language was quite offensive. Manners please folks!
Jock Muir, Oxted
Some of us cry over spilled milk
■ Lisa Kemsley asks why people are upset about Animal Rebellion protesters pouring milk on supermarket floors, adding that the dairy industry is “inherently cruel” to animals. (MetroTalk, Tues).
I resent the waste of a precious staple just as we are going through a livelihood crisis.
It’s also an insult to hardworking dairy farmers.
C Jones, London
How will the BBC get its funding?
■ In response to Nihal Banneheka (MetroTalk, Thurs) saying the BBC is a British institution that needs to be properly funded. In 1993, in the face of debate over tax-funded repairs and other expenses, Buckingham Palace opened its doors to raise revenue.
Perhaps it’s time the BBC got business-savvy and competitive by opening up its network to advertising – and thereby generating funds to keep the services running.
■ The BBC is without a doubt one of the greatest British institutions of all time. People all over the world are watching and listening to it. It’s informative and, for the most part, brilliant at everything it does – and deserves extra funding rather than cuts.
We should welcome and celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Bob Jones, Kidbrooke
■ Referring to Lou Stothard (MetroTalk, Thurs) who says the ‘growth economy’ has brought our planet to its knees – we need growth in the UK to lift people out of poverty. The problem we face is the measures we apply.
By measuring only profit and wealth, it becomes profitable to pollute, pay workers minimum wage and move British jobs abroad. If we optimized the measure of success to include benefits to society, you could achieve incredibly fair growth and investment in the UK.
Neil Dance, Birmingham
■ There is one way our MPs can help each and every one of us in these difficult times – by cutting their salaries by 10%. Not asking too much, sure?
Ann Paterson, Didcot
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/21/metro-letters-october-21-2022-taking-up-two-bus-seats-is-fine-17604384/ Metro Letters October 21, 2022: Taking two bus seats is fine