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Last updated: 12:13

Priority seat card

Your questions about priority cards on Thameslink answered here…

Can I ask for a priority seat if my child is in a buggy?
No, it’s just for people for who are holding a child, not for when the child is going to be in the buggy during the journey.
Can I get priority cards from the station?
No, you have to use the application form and the postal address to get a card.
Can I use First Class if there are no seats in Standard?
No – not unless you have a First Class ticket.
Can someone help me fill in the form if I’m disabled?

Yes, we can help you fill in the form and then send it to you to sign.


Call us on 0800 058 2844 if you need help.

Can the card be used for anything else?
No, the card can only be used for getting a priority seat.
Do I get a guaranteed seat?
No, not if the priority seats are already taken by others with priority cards or who otherwise need to sit down.
Do I have to explain why I need a seat?
No, not at all. The idea of the card is to save you the need to explain why you need a seat.
Do I still need to buy a train ticket?
Yes, you must always buy a valid ticket for your journey before you travel. A priority card isn’t a ticket.
Do you have the form in an alternative format?

Yes, we can send you a large print form or we can talk you through the form over the phone.


Call us on 0800 058 2844 if you need help.

How do I know if the person already in the seat has a card?

You won’t. They might show you their card, if they have one. They may still need the seat, even if they don’t have a card.

If they don’t give up their seat then try showing your card to someone in another priority seat.

How does it work?
You can show the priority card to someone sitting in a priority seat to ask them to give up the seat for you.
How long is the card valid for?

The card will last for four years, unless you’re pregnant, have a temporary disability or are travelling with a young child.

  • If you are pregnant: the card is valid till two weeks after your due date
  • If you have a temporary disability: the card is valid till two weeks after the expected recovery date
  • If you are travelling with a child under three: the card is valid till the child’s third birthday
How much does the priority card cost?
Nothing. The card is free, but we may charge you a replacement fee if it’s lost, stolen or damaged.
I want a seat but don’t qualify – why do others get priority?
We’ve introduced the card to help those who find it hard or painful to stand, especially during rush hour. These are the people who will need the seats the most, and we thank you for your help and understanding with this.
What do I do if I still can’t get a seat?

First show your card to everyone in the priority seats in your carriage.

If nobody offers you a seat you can try showing your card to passengers in the other seats.

If there’s a conductor on board they may be able to help you find a seat on the train.

What do I do if my card is stolen?

Report it to the police and let us know as soon as possible.


We’ll send you a free replacement once we have confirmation of the theft from the police.

What happens if I lose my card?
You’ll need to apply for another card, and you might have to pay a fee for the replacement.
Where are the priority seats?
Priority seats are clearly labelled and usually near the doors. 

There will be P signs on the chairs, the windows by the seats and sometimes on the seat covers.
Where can I give feedback about the card?

You can call us on 0800 058 2844 or use the textphone number 0800 138 1018.

You can also give us feedback at our meet the manager events

Where can I use my priority card?
You can use your card on Great Northern, Gatwick Express, Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink trains.
Who are priority seats for?
Priority seats are supposed to be for passengers who have problems standing, including those with visual impairments and temporary or hidden disabilities.
Who can apply for a priority seat card?
You can apply if you can’t stand up safely on the train – for example, if you’re elderly, disabled, pregnant or travelling with a child under three.
Who can I talk to if I have a problem with the card?
Call us on 0800 058 2844 and let us know what the problem is. We’ll do what we can to help.

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