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Last updated: 23:46

Accessible Travel 

Sometimes it's easy to rush when we travel without acknowledging the people around us.

We don't know everyone's story but we do know that some passengers may need more time or extra help when travelling.

Southeastern is committed to providing safe, accessible travel for all. Information on the accessibility of our trains and stations is available below. You can also find guidance on how to book the Passenger Assist service.

Watch our short film, below you will find a link to an audio description script for those with visual impairments.

Download Audio Description script for those with visual impairments

Check our travel advice page for important coronavirus information and updates for assisted travel

You can request Assisted travel at any point during your journey. To make sure we have staff available to help you, we recommend you book at least 6 hours in advance of travelling.

You can contact us to request Assisted travel at any time of the day. If your journey involves another train company we may need to confirm part of your journey with them. This might depend on their contact centre opening hours. If this is the case, we will discuss options with you.

To make a booking or for any travel queries please call Passenger Assist –

Telephone - 0800 783 4524

Text Relay number - 18001 0800 783 4524
These numbers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you prefer to fill out a form to make a booking, please use the web form below.  All fields marked * are mandatory.

You can also book Passenger Assist and track your requests through the new Southeastern app.
Create an Accessibility Profile to make booking Passenger Assist even faster.
Download our new app for free the App Store or Google Play.

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What is available and how to get it?

Southeastern is part of Passenger Assist – a national system that all train companies support, which allows us to make arrangements to assist our passengers with disabilities or restricted mobility. This is both for journeys on our network and where you’re connecting with other operators.
We’re committed to this system and we have a dedicated team who will help you book assistance. 

For immediate travel

We understand that planning in advance isn’t always possible – you can turn up at any station that is accessible to you and request assistance onto a train from a member of our staff. If the station doesn’t have staff you can get in contact with us by calling Passenger Assist or using the help points located at all of our stations. 
In Kent and East Sussex the train services have conductors and all of our High Speed services have On Board Managers. 
We’ll do everything we can to make sure that you’re assisted as your needs require. If a train service isn’t accessible to you, we’ll provide alternative accessible transport at no extra cost.
It may take longer to make arrangements if you haven’t booked in advance.

When travel is arranged in advance

For journeys planned in advance, you can book assistance through Southeastern (as well as any other train company) for journeys that are either direct or involve connections and other train companies on the National Rail network.

You can request Assisted travel at any point during your journey. To make sure we have staff available to help you, we recommend you book at least 6 hours in advance of travelling. 
You can contact us to request Assisted travel at any time of the day. If your journey involves another train company we may need to confirm part of your journey with them. This might depend on their contact centre opening hours. If this is the case, we will discuss options with you.

Our Passenger Assist team is available 24 hours a day, and every day except Christmas Day on 0800 783 4524 (or for our text relay service, prefix these numbers with 18001). They can also be contacted by filling out a form on our website. Once you have made a booking you will be given a confirmation number, a copy of the booking can also be sent by email.

Not all Southeastern stations are accessible or staffed. Some of our trains are also Driver Only Operated (DOO), which means that there is no conductor on board. 
When booking assistance to or from these stations, especially on DOO trains, we will do everything we can to ensure you get the help and assistance you need. We are introducing flexible staff on our network who will be able to assist people at stations or on or off trains when there are no other staff available.

If a station isn’t accessible we can provide, at no extra cost, alternative accessible transport, such as a taxi, to take you to the most convenient accessible station.

Ways to book assistance for your journey:

  • Call: 0800 783 4524
  • Text Relay: 18001 0800 783 4524
  • Online: www.southeasternrailway.co.uk

(Available 24 hours a day, every day except Christmas Day)

The levels of assistance we're able to provide

There are a number of ways in which we can help you when you're travelling with us:

  • Help with planning your journey, including details of the accessibility of all stations across the National Rail network.
  • Advice about the facilities you’ll find on the different types of train that Southeastern or other train companies operate.
  • Providing information about timetables including during times of engineering works when there are changes to the normal service, and travel may involve buses.
  • Advice on other support we can give you and how they work, like Sunflower Lanyards, Just A Minute (JAM) cards, and Priority seating cards.
  • Providing advice on how to use a mobility scooter or a wheelchair on our network, including details of how to obtain a copy of our wheelchair and scooter guide document.
  • Assistance with getting on and off the train – for example if you need guiding due to a visual impairment, or if you’re a wheelchair user and need a ramp.
  • Help with luggage, when booked in advance.
  • Getting through the station, to your platform, boarding the train, making connecting services and onward transport within the station area.
  • The wheelchair spaces on our trains cannot be reserved. However, if you’re travelling with a long distance operator it’s advisable to ask about reserving a space as they are often very busy and allow wheelchair spaces to be booked.
  • Buying tickets: these can be purchased when booking assistance – however this needs to be at least 72 hours in advance if you wish for them to be posted to you. Collection from a ticket vending machine is another option but you will need to wait for two hours after your booking before they become available.
  • How to make a complaint or feedback about great service you have received.

We’ve made sure that our contact centre staff are trained to help all of our customers and provide the best possible assistance, including customers with both visible and non-visible disabilities.
We’ll do all that we can to assist you making your journey, but we’re not able to accompany you throughout your journey. We’re unable to provide personal care such as help with eating, taking medication or using the toilet. If you need this support when travelling, you should travel with a companion. 

You can read or download our Accessible Travel Policy on our Accessible Travel Policy page

Priority Seating Cards

textOur Priority Seating Cards and Priority Seat Badges are for anyone who needs to sit down while travelling by train. You may need a priority seat if you’re disabled, over 65, pregnant or your child is under three years old. Priority seats are usually near the doors and are marked with a sign showing a ‘P’ inside a blue triangle.  

How to apply - 


Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyards and 'JAM' cards

It’s important that all our passengers feel comfortable enough to travel on our network and our services are accessible to everyone. 

You can pick up a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard or a JAM card by asking at any Southeastern station ticket office, by contacting Customer Services, or through the Southeastern app.  

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More information 


Travel Support Cards

Our Travel Support Cards are for anyone with a non-visible condition, a disability, or anyone who simply needs extra help while at our stations or on our trains. 

They are available at our stations, from Customer Services team, or you can download a Travel Support Card here.

Communication Assistance guide

To supplement our Travel Support Card we have produced a Communication Assistance guide. It's for passengers who have difficulty with verbal communication or with their hearing, or if English isn’t their first language. Download our Communication Assistance Guide.  


Travelling with wheelchairs and scooters

a man standing in front of a busWe produced this guide to help you stay safe when travelling in a wheelchair. 

It contains additional guidance for disabled people who would like to bring their scooter with them. Permits are not needed to use our services, but there are additional restrictions on the type of scooters that can be used on our services.

Download our Wheelchair and Scooter Guide

a group of people on a sidewalkCheck the accessible station facilities before you travel, including which stations have step free access and which have accessible toilets, on our station information pages
You can also download the station information for each of our stations.

In order to help our passengers with accessibility requirements we have amended our map to detail the level of accessibility at each of our stations. We have a programme of works to upgrade our stations and make them more accessible for the future.

a man in a wheelchair on board a trainFind out which trains have space for wheelchairs and which have accessible toilets, with our on board Rolling Stock Accessibility Information

Discounts for visually impaired passengers and wheelchair users 

Discounts are available to blind or visually impaired passengers travelling with a companion.
Blind or visually impaired passengers can also buy an adult season ticket that enables an accompanying companion to travel at no extra cost. It doesn’t have to be the same person travelling on every journey. 
Evidence of your visual impairment will be needed to be provided. 

Discounts also apply for passengers staying in their own wheelchair during a train journey whether travelling alone or with a companion.

Both these discounts are available from any of our ticket offices. 

Disabled Persons Railcard

The Disabled Persons Railcard (DPRC) gives holders a third off a range of train fares for themselves and one accompanying adult.
You can get an application form from all staffed stations, or you can apply online at www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk
 
You can also call the Disabled Persons Railcard office on 0345 605 0525 or Text phone 0345 601 0132. 

Find out about all the other Railcards available on our Railcards explained page. 

Buying tickets 

Find out about all the different ways you can buy tickets on our Ways to pay page. 

Buy tickets online here

We have a range of travel tools to help you plan your journey – 

To maintain and improve the UK's rail infrastructure, Network Rail has to carry out regular planned engineering work. The work is normally done at weekends, on bank holidays and after 10pm during the week, but it may also affect our services at other times. 

Most of our replacement buses are wheelchair accessible. For rail replacement travel advice for other train companies please visit National Rail

If there’s disruption to the train service and a non-accessible replacement bus transport is used then a taxi will be provided to take you to the nearest or most convenient accessible station to complete your journey, where possible, by train. Taxis will be free of charge to you as long as you hold or buy the correct ticket for your entire journey.

Check if engineering work will affect your journey 

Redress and compensation

When you have booked assistance and it has not been delivered at one of our stations or on a train you were travelling on or due to travel on, we want to hear from you so we can investigate what has gone wrong. There are many ways to get in contact with us, which are listed below; and contact forms are also available from our stations if required.

We'll provide you with appropriate redress for your journey, which may include a refund of your ticket or vouchers. We'll also let you know how we'll work hard to prevent the same issue happening again. If more than one train company is involved, we will co-ordinate a single response, but if the substantive part of the assistance failure is the responsibility of another train company we will transfer the claim to them with your agreement.

To make a claim please use one of the following options:

www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/contact-us

Telephone – 0800 783 4524 
Text Relay number -
18001 0800 783 4524

Southeastern Customer Services
PO Box 10422
Ashby-de-la-Zouch
LE65 9EL

We’ll always comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and, in line with National Rail Conditions of Travel, we’ll consider all additional compensation claims for any losses or extra cost caused by a service failure. This doesn’t affect your legal right to make claims under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, although you must not seek to recover the same money twice (for example, from both our complaints process and the Consumer Rights Act 2015).

We’ll keep passengers informed if:

  • there are delays over five minutes;
  • station stops are cancelled or altered;
  • the train is being taken out of service before it reaches its final destination. 

Sometimes the departing platform can change at short notice, if this happens we’ll allow time for disabled passengers to get to the new platform. Please let a member of staff know if you need help getting to a new platform as soon as you are aware it has changed.

Where you have booked assistance and there’s major ongoing disruption, we will make all reasonable efforts to contact you to make alternative arrangements.

Most of our replacement buses are wheelchair accessible. But if there’s disruption to the train service and a non-accessible replacement bus transport is used then a taxi will be provided to take you to the nearest or most convenient accessible station to complete your journey, where possible, by train. Taxis will be free of charge to you as long as you hold or buy the correct ticket for your entire journey.

Check our Service disruption 

The Accessible Travel Reference Group is a group of volunteers with accessibility needs who are happy to be consulted on proposed improvements to accessibility. The group gives invaluable feedback and brings forward suggestions regarding our trains and stations and the way we provide a service. Southeastern listens carefully to the views of the group's members as they are best placed to tell us what is good, what needs to improve and how.

For more information and to sign up please visit:

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/southeasternaccessibletravelreferencegroup

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