Thousands of disgruntled passengers have shared shaming images of the crime on social media
FORGET manspreading and bagspreading… if there’s one travel bugbear that unites both the sexes in pure rage, it is feet on seats.
The crime, where passengers place their shoes on the seat in front of them, has been witnessed by millions of Brits up and down the country.
Disgruntled passengers have taken to sharing shaming images of other travellers committing the crime on social media.
The hashtag #feetonseats has now gone viral, with thousands of pictures uploaded to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Various rail and bus companies around the UK have held campaigns to discourage the behaviour, as it creates a dirty mess on the seat where someone will sit and wears down the upholstery.
It is also extremely unhygienic, given that many companies don’t ever clean the seats on their trains and buses.
For instance, seats on seven of the London underground line have never been shampooed.
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A Freedom Of Information request last year revealed that seats on the District, Jubilee, Northern, Circle, Piccadilly, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines have never been given a proper clean.
Just the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central were cleaned every six months to a year.
That means every dirty trainer imprint will stay on the chair until it is replaced.
But apart from asking someone to remover their feet from the seat, do bus and rail conductors actually have any power to stop the problem?
Under the National Rail Conditions of Travel, passengers are required to “show consideration for other passengers, so that everyone is able to have an enjoyable travel experience” and any antisocial behaviour is covered by the Railway Byelaws.
The Railway Byelaws, listed by the Department for Transport on their website, say that “no person shall soil any part of the railway, damage or detach any part of the railway, or wilfully interfere with the comfort or convenience of any person on the railway.”
This is merely used as a guideline for the different train companies though, who each have their own rules on the issue with some being much stricter than others.
While some businesses are content to place signs around their carriages warning people against the behaviour, others have taken added action.
Merseyrail has hired ‘Byelaw Enforcers’, who patrol the trains and take pictures of passengers who commit the offence of having their feet on a seat.
The footage is then used to support a prosecution.
A first case offender who admits immediate guilt avoid court by paying £50, but repeat offenders are charged up to £350.
Meanwhile, Transport For London, who would severely struggle to police its thousands or tube carriages and buses, have to reply on asking passengers to refrain from the behaviour and trusting the majority of well-behaved travellers to police the situation themselves.
Mark Evers, Director of Customer Strategy London Underground told Sun Online: “Our teams work hard to ensure our trains and stations remain a pleasant environment for everyone.
“Customers can also help by keeping feet off seats, which we encourage alongside avoiding dropping litter, avoiding unnecessarily pulling the passenger alarm and letting passengers off the train to so that delays are not caused for others.”