14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Pregnant Commuter Forced To Sit On Crowded Train Floor

Evening Standard

A commuter who was taken ill and almost collapsed on a packed train while five months pregnant was forced to sit on the carriage floor, as no one offered her a seat.

Victoria Poskitt, 40, has spoken out about the 'unsympathetic' response she received from South West Trains staff and her fellow passengers on the morning train from Surbiton to Waterloo.

Victoria, who is pregnant with her first child, had started to feel unwell during her morning commute. She informed her fellow passengers of her condition, but they ignored her and she was forced to sink onto the floor, where she remained for the rest of the journey.

Shocked by the reaction of those around her, Victoria said that even if they had not realised she was pregnant, "simple human decency should have prevailed."

Keen to avoid any more traumatic journeys Victoria applied for a special pass offered by South West Trains, which allows women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant and have a season ticket, to sit in first class if there are no seats available in the standard carriages.

But Victoria was informed that she's not eligible for the pass, as she only travels for work three days a week and so doesn't hold a season pass.

"I thought they might be willing to make an exception, particularly after I told them about what happened," VIctoria told the Evening Standard. "But after conversations with various managers they've flatly said 'no', saying policy is policy.

"They said to me that if I'm feeling unwell I should find a guard; if they've been on one of their trains they should know that's impossible. Then they said if you're feeling unwell you should pull the emergency cord. Really?"

A spokeswoman for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: "We are sorry to hear that Ms Poskitt felt unwell on one of our services. We have the most extensive upgrade scheme of any rail operator to help our customers who are expecting a baby."

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