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Assisted travel

At Southern we’re committed to accessible travel for everyone. Our assisted travel scheme Passenger Assist helps passengers with disabilities and older people who need a little extra help using our services.

The majority of passengers travel on our network without booking assistance (“turn up and go”)

If you do wish to book assistance our call centre colleagues are happy to help you with planning your journey.

You can contact us at any time of the day for assisted travel guidance or to request an assisted travel booking. To make sure we have staff available to help you, we recommend you book at least two hours in advance of travelling.

If your journey involves another train company, we may need to confirm part of your journey with them. If this is the case, we will discuss options with you.

If you do choose to travel “turn up and go” without booking assistance in advance, please make yourself known to a member of staff or use a Help Point when you arrive at the station.

Accessibility

At Southern, we are committed to making sure everyone can travel with confidence. The industry assisted travel scheme ‘Passenger Assist’, enables disabled and older people who prefer to request their assistance in advance, up to two hours before their journey.

Many of our passengers travel on our network without booking assistance (turn up and go), which is something we’re proud of. No matter how you choose to travel, please make yourself known to a member of staff or use a Help Point when you arrive at the station.

How to book assisted travel with Passenger Assist

There are several ways to book Passenger Assist. You can fill in our assisted travel booking form online or you can contact us via telephone or text message.

Book online:

Fill in our assisted travel booking form online

Call us:

Call us on: 0800 138 1016 (your information may be recorded)
Textphone: 0800 138 1018

Our assisted travel helpline is open 24 hours a day, except on Christmas Day. To make sure we have staff available to help you, we recommend you book at least two hours in advance of travelling. We can tell you about your nearest station with step-free access and give information about ramps and lifts. We can also arrange help both at stations and on trains, as well as provide train times and travel information. If you’d like help with planning your journey and booking a train ticket in advance, please call our assisted travel team at least seven days before you’d like to travel. If your journey involves another train company, we may need to confirm part of your journey with them. If this is the case, we will discuss options with you. Or, should you wish to contact other operators directly, contact details are available on National Rail’s website.

Book assisted travel

You can also request assistance via Passenger Assistance by Transreport – a new smartphone app. Find out more.

What to do when you arrive at the station

To offer you the best assistance possible, we recommend that you arrive at the station 20 minutes before your train is due to depart. When you arrive let a member of staff know, you require assistance, or you’ve booked assisted travel.

We can help you:

  • buy a ticket and anything else you may want for your journey
  • show you where to go – you’ll need to get to the platform 5 minutes before your train leaves
  • get around the station, providing ramps or another kind transport if you can’t use steps
  • board the train and find a seat
  • change trains during your journey

We can also carry light luggage and let other stations know you are coming so that you are looked after when you arrive at your destination.

View our resources for further support whilst travelling.

Accessible facilities at the station

Make sure to check our station pages, for information on accessibility at your station.

You can also search for your station on this page, to see if there are any temporary reductions to the accessible facilities.

You can also watch our video to see what’s available at the station.

Our commitment to you

We are committed to working towards providing accessible travel for everyone, and our ongoing programme of access improvements will see more and more stations and trains becoming more accessible.

We know as an industry we can do better to give everyone the confidence to travel. We’re working hard to empower disabled people and others who require assistance by making our services easier to use and have set out our commitments in our Accessible Travel Policy.

For example, the notice you give to pre-book assistance is reduced to two hours before travel, although you’re always welcome to turn up at a station unannounced. All our staff are having improved accessibility training, we’ve enhanced our websites and signs at stations, and we are rolling out mobile assistance teams serving our smaller unstaffed stations.

Learn more about our accessible travel policy.

Watch our Making Rail Accessible videos here for more information

Further information

Click to expand each section

Book assisted travel for your journey

If you’d like to book assistance, we can arrange your help, contact you with confirmation and answer any questions you may have.