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Southern cuts time to book passenger assistance by two-thirds

Passengers with Southern and Gatwick Express can now book assistance for their journey just two hours in advance of catching a train, at any time of the day.

Most disabled people and others who require the service, such as elderly people, simply ask for assistance when they arrive at the station. For others, however, pre-booking provides added reassurance and it can speed up their journey through the station.

Last year, as part of the nationwide improvement package, operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) staffed its helpline overnight, 24/7, to cut the time required to book from 10pm on the day before travel to six hours in advance. The latest change to two hours’ notice period cuts this by two-thirds and is part of an industry-wide initiative.

Carl Martin, Accessibility Lead at GTR, said: “Most people know what they are doing in the next couple of hours, so this reduced notice period should make a real difference. It will give customers who want the added reassurance of an arranged booking, greater flexibility and make our service more user-friendly.

“It’s all part of our commitment to improve the level of service we give people who need assistance to overcome the barriers that prevent independent travel on the railway.”

Passengers can request assistance either by phoning 0800 138 1016 (Textphone 0800 138 1018), visiting the Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern or Gatwick Express websites (Assisted Travel tab) or by downloading the Passenger Assist app at National Rail Enquiries.

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