Priority Card - Terms and conditions

Reference to ‘the card’ refers to the priority seat card to which these terms and conditions relate.

1. The card will be issued on application provided the stated criteria are met, the correct copies of documentation is forwarded and the application form is fully completed and signed to confirm agreement with these conditions.

2. If the criteria of application are not met, and there is not a valid reason given to confirm the need for a seat, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) reserve the right to not issue the card.

3. The card remains the property of GTR and it reserves the right to ask for the card to be returned at any time.

4. The card has no monetary value and does not replace the need for a valid ticket for the total journey being made and for the right class. Tickets must be purchased before boarding the train. By travelling on Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink services you are agreeing to the National Conditions of Carriage (details can be found at stations and online at

5. The card should be used when you have difficulty finding a seat (generally at peak times) and should be presented to fellow passengers to help gain a seat. The card is to be used to show other passengers that we recognise your need for a seat and should reduce the need to explain to fellow passengers why you need it. Please do not use the card if other seats are available within the coach, which you are able to use.

6. The card does not guarantee a seat on any service. It is not required to sit in a priority seat (any passenger can sit on a priority seat with the understanding that they will move if required). The class of the ticket held must match the location of the priority seat.

7. Where priority seating is provided in first class this is for first class ticket holders only. Holding a priority seat card does not entitle a passenger to an automatic upgrade to first class seating. Travel must be in the accommodation a ticket has been purchased for.

8. The card is valid on Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink services. This card is also linked with Southeastern’s card and can additionally be used on their services. The card cannot be used with other train operating companies or transport providers and there is no duty on them or their passengers to recognise the card.

9. The card is for the applicants use only, it is not transferable and must not be given, loaned or sold to anyone else.

10. The card is not valid if defaced, appears without a valid reference number, has expired, is not signed on the reverse or the photo is removed or unrecognisable.

11. We do not operate a reserved seat policy across our services and as such are unable to guarantee that seats will be available or that fellow passengers will give up their seats. However, it is hoped that with the aid of the card this will be easier and passengers will give up their seat.

12. The card is issued subject to the conditions listed. Misuse may result in termination of your journey, prohibited use of our services or prosecution.

13. This card does not entitle you to a discount, offers or other privileges on the rail network. Its sole use is to assist you to gain a priority seat, if occupied by fellow passengers. In the future we may use the card for other initiatives and will promote this to passengers.

14. If the card is lost, stolen or damaged we will replace the card subject to a valid reapplication, however there may be an administration charge of £20 to cover the cost of replacing the card. We reserve the right to refuse to issue a replacement card. If the card is stolen and a copy of the crime report is forwarded to us, there will be no charge for the first claim.

15. We reserve the right to withdraw the priority seat card service at any time.

16. We will only extend the validity period of the cards with a full application and documentation being provided.

17. We may contact you to ask for feedback about the cards so that we can improve our service to you. Please offer your honest opinion and experience.

18. Renewal of cards is at GTR’s discretion but in general cards will expire on a given date, based on the below:

• Cards issued to pregnant individuals will expire two weeks after their due date.

• Applications for people with a temporary disability will expire two weeks after the expected date of recovery (reapplication will be allowed).

• Cards issued to those over 65 or with long term disability or medication condition will expire after four years (reapplication allowed after this).

• For those applying who are accompanied by an infant under the age of three, the card will display the child’s photo and will require annual reapplication (this is to ensure an up to date photo is shown).

19. Cards for passengers carrying infants are not intended to be used if the infant remains in their buggy/pushchair whilst on the train. They are intended for passengers holding an infant whilst travelling

20. Applicants are responsible for the costs of all documents required for the application of the priority seat card.

21. Illegible cards can be replaced on reapplication (max 1 per year) by sending your current card to Customer Services together with the relevant forms.

22. GTR’s Customer Services may need to contact you with important information about your card. As part of these terms and conditions you are agreeing to let us know if your contact details change.

These Terms and Conditions are valid from June 2015, until further notice.