Priority seat cards
Several train companies (at present Southern Railway, First Capital Connect and First Great Western) now issue priority seat cards to passengers with a proven medical need. You should apply to the relevant train company for a card if you think that you are entitled. Fuller details are given below:
- Southern Railway: http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/accessibility/priority-seat-card/
- First Great Western: http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/~/media/PDF/YourJourney/AssistedTravel/web_priority_app.ashx and section 7.2 of the DPPP
- First Capital Connect: http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/customer-care/priority-cards/
You must apply by post, with a recent photograph and suitable evidence of the need to occupy a seat when travelling. No charge is made to issue priority seat cards.
These cards enable you to demonstrate your need without having to explain your disability and need to sit down to strangers. The card is especially useful if you have a hidden disability and if the train has no on-board staff. Again, it is not a fool-proof guarantee that other passengers will stand to let you sit down if all seats are occupied, but does simplify the task of explanation and entitlement.
We encourage other companies to follow best practice and provide such cards.
If you hold a priority seat card you must still buy a valid ticket. A priority seat card does not entitle you to a reduced fare; you need a separate Railcard for that purpose.