Help if you need a seat
Do you struggle to stand on the train, but feel awkward or reluctant to ask someone to give up their seat?
If you’re pregnant, disabled, over 65 or have a child under 3 (unless they will be sitting in a buggy/pushchair) you could be entitled to a free Priority Seat Card which can be used on any Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern or Gatwick Express service.
There is priority seating on all of our trains, usually near the doors and marked with a P sign.
Most people are happy to give up their seat to someone more in need of it. Simply show your card to someone sitting in a priority seat and they’ll see that you have a need for one of these seats. Our customers have told us that this helps to avoid embarrassment. You are not guaranteed a seat if the priority seats are already taken by others with priority cards or who otherwise needs to sit down.
If you've been asked to give up your seat by someone holding a Priority Seat Card you can be reassured that they have a genuine need and thank you for helping.
When travelling you will still need a valid train ticket for your journey. A priority card does not allow you to use the first-class areas, unless you have a valid first class ticket. If you are unable to find a seat, if there is onboard staff available on your service make yourself known as they may be able to help.
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 until the child’s third birthday
How do I apply for a Priority Seat Card?
Fill in this form and send it to us at the address below.
Apply for a priority card form (pdf)
You can only apply for a card using the form above and sending it to the email address or postal address below.
If you need assistance filling out the form, then please contact our customer service team on 0800 058 2844
Do I need to send supporting documents?Yes, there's a couple of things we need from you. You’ll need to include some proof of your address – like a utility bill – and evidence of why you need priority seating, such as a doctor’s note.
See the list of documents to send with your application.
Where do I send the form and documents
To apply simply email firstname.lastname@example.org attaching a completed form, supporting documents and a colour scan of your passport photos. Alternatively you can post it to us at:
Priority Seat Card Application
Govia Thameslink Railway
1st Floor, Monument Place
24 Monument Street
London EC3R 8AJ
Telephone: 0800 058 2844
Textphone: 0800 138 1018
Need to know more?
If you lose your card, then you will need to apply for a new card, but you may be charged a fee for the replacement.
If your card has been stolen, report it to the police and we will be able to issue a free replacement once we have confirmation of theft from the police.
For any questions relating to your priority card then please call us on 0800 058 2844, we will do all we can to help.