Our Station Access Guide

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1 Our Station Access Guide A guide to help you access our services Making rail accessible Helping older and disabled passengers July 2013 southernrailway.com

2 If you would like a copy of this guide in large print or Braille, please contact Customer Services on

3 Contents 1. About Southern and policy summary 3 2. Assistance for passengers 7 a) What type of assistance can we offer you? 7 b) Luggage 8 c) Station wheelchairs 9 d) Personal care and assistance 9 e) Staff to assist you 9 f) Booking before travel 10 g) Inaccessible stations 12 h) Driver-only trains 12 i) Arrival time 12 j) Seats and wheelchair spaces 13 k) Size and weight of wheelchairs and mobility scooters accepted onto services 14 l) Assistance dogs 16 m) When will assistance be provided? 16 n) Stations where assistance can be provided at 17 o) Unable to book? 17 p) Platform to train ramps Contact details Passenger information Tickets, Railcards, fares and discounts At the station 29 a) Entrances 29 b) Signage and passenger information 29 c) Help and information points 30 d) Ticket machines 32 e) Ticket gates 33 f) Left luggage 33 g) Station Catering Facilities and Other Retail Units 33

4 7. On the train 34 a) How to get information and assistance on trains 34 b) Seating on trains 35 c) On board our trains Making connections 41 a) Connections to other train services 41 b) Connecting to other modes of public transport 41 c) Access by car Disruption to facilities and services Your feedback Document in alternative formats Station accessibility information 52 a) Toilets 53 b) Waiting areas and seating 53 c) Safety and security Train information Travel information and contact details 64 Our station access guide and map 65 Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained within this guide is correct at the time of going to print. It is recommended that you check your journey details prior to travel with our Assisted Travel team (contact details in section 3).

5 1. About Southern and policy summary Southern provides services in south London and between central London and the south coast, through East and West Sussex and Surrey and parts of Kent and Hampshire with some northbound services extending to Milton Keynes. Southern also operates the Gatwick Express service. Some brief facts about Southern: We have over 4,000 employees; Our service is provided by a fleet of over 300 new and refurbished trains; We provide over 2,000 train services each week day; We carry around 440,000 passengers each day; Over 10,000 passengers book assistance for their journey through our assisted travel line each year; Southern currently manages 156 stations, 122 of which have Secure Station accreditation. Southern is owned by Govia, the partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis. Govia owns three rail companies, Southern, Southeastern and London Midland and provides nearly 30% of all UK passenger rail journeys. Welcome from Southern This booklet is designed to provide passengers with easy to use practical information and guidance for accessing our services. It forms part of our Disabled People s Protection Policy (DPPP). It is intended to be used by passengers who have particular access requirements, including passengers with disabilities, those travelling with small children and pushchairs, expectant mothers, older passengers and those carrying bags or luggage. However, it is also 3

6 intended to be useful to all passengers as it provides details of where you can get help, what assistance is available and what to expect when travelling on our trains and through our stations. This booklet offers a realistic and honest view of our services so you know exactly what to expect before travel. Although it will assist you with planning a journey on our network, it may not answer every question you may have. However there is nearly always someone available to talk to if you have a question that has not been answered. Our friendly Customer Service team can be contacted 24 hours a day (core hours are 6am midnight) 7 days a week (except Christmas Day). Alternatively, our station teams are happy to answer any queries you may have. Contact details for Customer Services and our Assisted Travel Helpline are given in section 3. This guide covers all Southern services, including Gatwick Express. We are committed to making our services easy to use, through providing: safe, reliable and punctual services; information that is clear and easy to understand; advice and assistance whenever it is required via our Assisted Travel line; Our policy is to cater for our passengers specific needs wherever possible, ensuring that travel is as easy as it can be. At Southern we are continually looking for ways to make improvements for existing and potential passengers. Our commitment to our passengers is what drives us forward and is what underpins the organisation from our recruitment, training and ongoing support to staff, to our 4

7 increasing improvements to our services, stations and trains. We welcome your feedback to help us improve. Once you have read this leaflet, let us know what you think, if there is any information missing that you would find useful, and if there is anything we can do to improve or assist you further, please contact us through Customer Services. Our commitment We are committed to working towards the provision of a more accessible rail network through: Refurbishment of trains where possible; New, renewed, or enhanced facilities at stations and transport interchanges; Our services provided at stations and on trains; Training of staff, both customer-facing and those influencing changes to stations, trains and services; Regular audits of our stations and updating of the facilities and services shown in this guide and on our website; Annual investment in improving accessibility across our network; Annual review of this guide which is part of our Disabled People s Protection Policy. Planned improvements We want to ensure that access on our journeys is enhanced, increasing the opportunities available to people with access needs. We work very closely with Network Rail (the rail infrastructure and stations owner), many councils, Rail User Groups, passenger watchdogs, Transport for London and other third parties to deliver these enhancements. 5

8 Many of the stations our trains call at have been improved under either the Access for All programme or the National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP). We also operate some stations which have been earmarked for future investment and improvement. Details of all stations included in these programmes can be found on the Department for Transport s website: In general, our strategy is to prioritise step-free access improvements (not including lifts) followed by other minor works. We also work with other train operating companies and the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) to share best practice and develop joint initiatives. 6

9 2. Assistance for passengers Booking assistance We provide our passengers with a facility to book assistance before travel and encourage passengers to use this so that, where possible, assistance can be provided which is tailored to a passengers need. Through our Assisted Travel Helpline journey assistance may be booked on Southern and any other train operator s services. We are committed to participating in the national service, Passenger Assist, for booking passenger assistance which is often referred to as APRS (Assisted Passenger Reservation System). a) What type of assistance can we offer you? Our staff receive disability awareness training and will provide assistance wherever possible. Because we recognise that each passenger s needs are different, please help our staff to help you by telling them how you wish to be assisted and what you need from them. These are some of the types of help we can offer: Meeting you on arrival at a station (specified when booking); Help with purchasing a ticket, or other items from the station for the journey (specified when booking); Help with getting around the station; Assistance in boarding a train and finding a seat ranging from a helping hand to the use of a ramp; Assistance when climbing up or down stairs; Help when making train connections; Help with hand luggage. Staff may not be able to wait with you from arrival at the station to train departure: they will, however, take you to a safe and appropriate place to wait and will return before the train is due to depart. 7

10 b) Luggage Please mention your requirements for luggage assistance at the time you book your assisted travel. Southern staff may carry hand luggage on request, free of charge. Please note we cannot provide assistance with heavy luggage.* Please bear in mind that some staff may not be able to carry luggage further than the exit from the platform as they may have to remain on the platform for safety reasons. Folding mobility scooters can be conveyed as luggage provided they are loaded onto and unloaded from the train by you or a companion. Luggage trolleys are currently available at East Croydon, Brighton, Eastbourne, Lewes, London Victoria, and London Bridge stations. They are not available at other stations. *This discretion complies with Manual Handling Regulations and is also stated in the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, staff must not put themselves at risk by carrying heavy luggage. As guidance, under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, the maximum size of items of luggage that should be carried by passengers onto our services is two items 90 x 70 x 30 cm and one item 55 x 40 x 20 cm. An additional charge may be made if luggage exceeds these sizes. 8

11 c) Station wheelchairs Some stations have wheelchairs for staff assisted public use which can help you with the transfer between the station entrance and the train. Stations with wheelchairs available are shown within the step free guide towards the back of this booklet. Station wheelchairs are only for use at the station where they are kept, and cannot be used on the train for your journey. d) Personal care and assistance Unfortunately, Southern staff are unable to assist with your personal care before, during or after your journey such as help with eating, drinking, using the toilet, taking medication or accompanying passengers when on board. e) Staff to assist you Our station teams will provide your booked assistance on the day of travel having been briefed in advance of your requirements. Currently we call back over 25% of passengers who travel with us every four week period to talk about their assisted travel experience. We use comments to identify improvements that can be made in our assisted travel process and praise teams following passenger feedback. We regularly visit stations to assess the provision of assisted travel, and ask staff to tell us how they think the service could be improved and any assistance they need with the delivery or information provided. As a result of staff and passenger comments we have made a number of changes to improve our assisted travel process. However we would welcome your comments so that we might improve further. 9

12 Passenger luggage assistance Passenger information desk Assisted Travel. What can you expect? f) Booking before travel How far in advance should you book? We want to be able to offer you the best possible assistance when making your journey, so we ask you to contact us as far in advance of your journey as possible through our Assisted Travel Helpline. We generally recommend at least 24 hours so that we can make proper assistance arrangements for you. We advise that you give us a minimum of 12 hours notice if your journey is within the Southern network and at least the day before travel or at least 24 hours notice if you are making a longer journey involving other train operators, or are travelling to / from unstaffed stations or where step free access is needed, at a step only station. If you book in advance we can: Ensure you get assistance for your entire journey on National Rail services, not just on Southern services. For example, you might start at Brighton (a Southern station) and your destination may be York (an East Coast station). We can currently only book assistance for you across London on National Rail services (i.e. not underground, bus, ferry, taxi or coach), our services terminate at London Victoria and London Bridge. 10

13 In common with other train operating companies we use an electronic system called Passenger Assist. This system enables us to book assistance for a train journey for passengers to any station in the country. Each train company has a set procedure for receiving the information from the national system and communicating this to their station teams to deliver the assistance booked. By booking in advance it allows all train operators providing assistance to receive the information about your booking and make the necessary arrangements. If you are booking assistance in advance you will be advised of your nearest accessible station and, if alternative transport is necessary, it will be arranged for you. Where you have already booked a journey through our assisted travel line and a shortnotice change to the arrangement occurs, we will attempt to contact you to agree alternative travel arrangements and, where required, rebook assistance or journeys. Once you have booked, where should you go on arrival at the station? On arrival at the station please let a member of staff know that you have arrived and have booked assistance, giving your name. Key staff will be aware you have booked but please remember unless they know you already they will not know what you look like. Staff can assist with purchasing a ticket and will check your ticket before travel. If you have booked who will assist you? When you have booked assistance, station staff will assist you. At some larger stations we have a dedicated team to help and at others it could be any of the station team that assists you. Conductors may sometimes assist you to get on or off the train. 11

14 g) Inaccessible stations Please refer to the step free guide in the back of this booklet If you have a disability and wish to use a station which is not accessible to you due to a physical feature (such as steps to platforms), we will provide alternative transport for you (normally a taxi), between the inaccessible station and the nearest accessible station. There is no additional cost for this service above the cost of your rail ticket. Please call the assisted travel line 24 hours before travel to organise this, we can book both wheelchair accessible taxis and those that are not, please discuss your requirements with our assisted travel team. Where facilities exist you must purchase your ticket before travel, at stations where ticket offices and machines are accessible to you. h) Driver-only trains In the metro area around London, many of our trains do not have a conductor on board. However, our drivers are trained to make announcements to assist passengers wherever possible. Announcement of stations is automatic on board the train. Please contact a member of platform staff or use the help points on the station if you have any queries or issues. i) Arrival time We recommend that all passengers arrive in good time at the station. As a general rule of thumb, arriving at staffed stations 20 minutes before your train is due to depart will enable the correct assistance to be delivered. This is especially recommended at larger stations and should be discussed when booking your assistance. This will ensure that there is enough time to assist you to 12

15 the platforms before your booked departure time and ensure your assistance is not rushed. If you do not allow this time, you may find that you will have to take a later service. We recommend that all passengers are waiting on the platform at least 5 minutes before the train departure time. Train doors will generally close 30 seconds before the departure time to enable right time departure. j) Seats and wheelchair spaces On all Southern and Gatwick Express services, although you can book assistance for your journey, you cannot reserve seats. Passengers can enter and exit anywhere on the train to gain access to the nearest available seat or space. If you use a wheelchair, specific spaces are provided for you within the trains which will give you a more comfortable and safe journey. There are markings on the outside of the train to highlight the carriage where these spaces are available. To use our services, the dimensions of your chair should be no greater than 700mm wide by 1200mm long.* The safe weight for our boarding ramps is a combined 300kg for you and your conveyance and any attachments required. If your journey or part of it is with a train operator that offers seat or wheelchair user reservations, our Assisted Travel team can book these for you. On Southern services, our station staff can assist you to a seat if required. For inter-train operator journeys please ensure your wheelchair or mobility scooter can be 13

16 accommodated as there are different restrictions on other train operator services. *On class 442 services the width of your wheelchair should be no more than 695mm due to the width restrictions on these trains. Mobility scooters are not accepted onto these services. k) Size and weight of wheelchairs and mobility scooters accepted onto services When travelling by train there is a gap between the platform and the train which wheelchairs and mobility scooters would find difficult to negotiate independently. To overcome this, ramps are available at stations and on board most trains. We are always happy to assist you to board and alight from our trains using these ramps. For your own safety these ramps and the accessible space on our trains can only accommodate wheelchairs and mobility scooters that are no greater than 700mm wide by 1200mm long and with a passenger and conveyance weight of less than 300kg. There are some services where mobility scooters cannot safely be accepted and the ramps have a maximum width of 695mm these services are marked in the timetables with a square above them. For your own safety, the 300kg weight limit is the safe working load of ramps and must not be exceeded. Station staff will refuse your wheelchair or mobility scooter access to the train if it does not meet the criteria or they are worried about passenger safety. As mobility scooters are designed for short trips around town, many are not suitable for travel on public transport. Please ensure yours is suitable before attempting to travel as staff may refuse entry onto stations and trains if they are not suitable. 14

17 If you have a motorised wheelchair or mobility scooter please think about whether you are comfortable to steering it up a short steep ramp over the gap between the platform and train before you travel as our staff will be unable to take the controls for you. For your own safety and that of others, please do not exceed 3 miles per hour whilst at any station. If you are travelling with a mobility scooter, please stow it in the accessible space and do not block the area around the doors. When travelling, for your safety and that of others, please lock the movement on your mobility scooter to prevent it rolling during transit and transfer from your mobility scooter to the seating provided. Under the current regulations passengers with wheelchairs have priority in our accessible areas on the trains and you may be asked to move to provide room for wheelchair users. Mobility scooters cannot be carried on our class 442 trains, which form some services between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport / Brighton and between London Bridge to Eastbourne and Brighton unless they fold and are carried on. This is because they cannot fit safely in the train s accessible area (these services are highlighted by a square in the timetables). During train service disruption, many rail replacement buses or coaches are unable to accept mobility scooters, so please check to find out whether planned engineering work is likely to affect your journey before you travel. 15

18 Passenger assistance Station wheelchair Wheelchairs and mobility scooters with heavy bags on the back can tip backwards on train ramps, so you may be asked to remove some bags for safety reasons. Please always listen to the advice given by staff. When a member of staff is helping you to get off the train, they will bring your wheelchair down the ramp backwards: this is for your own safety and that of others. Many train operating companies have different policies for travelling with mobility scooters, so please check their policies before travel. You can find this information at nationalrail.co.uk or by calling l) Assistance dogs Assistance dogs are welcome on all our services. m) When will assistance be provided? If you have booked assistance, when the train arrives at its final destination you should have to wait on board no longer than 5 minutes for assistance to arrive. In most cases a wait of this length will not be experienced and staff will be on the platform when the train arrives. Please bear in mind that there may also be other passengers arriving on the same service that need assistance to get off, so staff may not be there for you immediately when the train 16

19 arrives. If you are worried that there is no member of staff waiting for you, you could ask a member of the public to make staff aware that you are waiting. Depending on the circumstances you can also communicate with the driver by pressing the call for aid alarm in the accessible area (the low level alarm). However the only safe way for you to get on or off a train is with the assistance of trained staff who will be with you as soon as possible. n) Stations where assistance can be provided at Assistance can be booked from any Southern station for any service we provide. For information about station opening times and timetables please refer to National Rail Enquiries nationalrail.co.uk or southernrailway.com where we detail the most up to date information about our services and stations via the national information database. o) Unable to book? We appreciate that you might not be able to give us 24 hours notice before your intended travel time or even call us the day before travel we will always try to deliver the service you need whether you have managed to contact us or not. The shorter the period of notice we receive, the less time we have to communicate to staff and in some instances there may be a delay in receiving assistance. However, we will try to do everything to provide assistance to you in a timely manner. If you arrive at an inaccessible station without pre-booking assistance you will need to alert staff. It may take us some time to arrange alternative transport for you to the nearest accessible station. 17

20 If you arrive at an accessible but unstaffed station without pre-booking assistance you will need to contact us by using the help point or a phone. It may take us some time to arrange assistance for you. Please bear in mind that there may also be other assisted passengers on the same service and those passengers who have booked assistance in advance will have priority. This may mean that our staff may not be immediately available when the train arrives or you may have to wait for another service where assistance can be provided.. Our staff can assist you when making your journey. p) Platform-to-train ramps There is always a gap between the platform and the train which cannot easily be negotiated by wheelchair or mobility scooter users. We have platform-to-train ramps for any passenger who needs step-free access to the train. These are suitable for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, within the reference size: no more than 700mm wide, 1200mm long and weighing no more than 300kg including the user. Ramps are provided on platforms with step-free access; please let staff know if you need use of them. At smaller stations there may be a short delay if staff are busy and if you have not made a booking through assisted travel. At unstaffed stations, where conductors are aboard the train, they will be able to use the on-board ramps to help you. You will need to let them know you need this. 18

21 There are several stations with step-free access that are not staffed at all times or are never staffed. Trains that call at these stations in the metro area usually run without a conductor. Details of these stations can be found in the station information section within this guide. At these stations we may need to send a member of staff from another station to provide the ramp or provide alternative transport. This may take longer than an hour if assistance has not been booked in advance. At some of our stations the platforms are too narrow to safely deploy any kind of ramp. These are highlighted in the station information section of this guide. If you need to use any of these stations and are likely to require a ramp to board the train please contact Assisted Travel in advance so that alternative arrangements can be made. Platform-totrain ramp Station assistance 19

22 3. Contact details To make your journey as smooth as possible you can contact the Southern and Gatwick Express assisted travel line on the free phone number below. Our friendly team can advise and assist you best from 7am 9pm, everyday (with the exception of Christmas Day) although phone line are staffed 24 hours per day Southern Customer Services (24 hours) Southern Customer Services PO Box 3021 Bristol BS2 2BS Telephone Fax Assisted Travel Helpline (core hours 7am 9pm) Textphone/Minicom Gatwick Express Customer Services (24 hours) Gatwick Express Customer Services PO Box 3021 Bristol BS2 2BS Telephone Number Assisted Travel Helpline Textphone/minicom Contact us online General enquiries Assisted Travel Websites southernrailway.com gatwickexpress.com 20

23 4. Passenger information Updating information If there is a temporary change in station or train access, whether due to a fault or maintenance (such as the lifts at the station being serviced), the website team, customer information team and Accessibility Manager will update information on the Southern and National Rail Enquiries websites to give the latest information (through either the Station Journey Planner or the national stations database). If there is a temporary fault that reduces the access for more than 24 hours the information will be updated and the Assisted Travel Team made aware. This will be done as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after the change. We will update all systems again after the facility is back in use. We will inform you of planned changes by means of posters at the station, notices on our website, and when you book assistance. We will also tell you when work is expected to be complete. On the National Rail Enquiries website nationalrail.co.uk accessibility information is provided about all stations within the Accessibility tab and also the Stations Made Easy option next to each station you search. The Stations Made Easy information provides a route planning tool within each station on the site and also shows photographs and a map of the station so you can see what the station facilities are before you get there. The photographs and information on these pages will be kept up-to-date with major changes affecting accessibility at our stations. If you have already booked assistance through Passenger Assist (the national system), we will contact you if it becomes necessary to make other arrangements because of temporary changes at a station. This might include alternative transport at no extra charge. 21

24 If you notice a fault which affects access at a station (such as a lift not working properly), please inform a member of staff at the station, or if there are no staff available, please let us know by using the help point, or by contacting Customer Services. Service disruption & planned Improvement works Sometimes, during disruption or planned improvement works we will provide replacement bus or coach services. If you have a disability and cannot use the bus because it is inaccessible to you, we will arrange alternative transport or suggest an alternative route at no extra cost to you. Details of planned improvement works can be found on our website and on the National Rail website. There are also audio/visual announcements at stations and posters at stations. You can also get these details from Customer Services. Keeping this document up to date This document is written with the help and advice of stakeholders. Southern s Accessibility Manager will review this document annually and will consult with DfT on any proposed changes. We will also submit it to DfT each year for approval. We have consulted with Passenger Focus and London TravelWatch whilst developing this guide and any large changes to the document will be forwarded for consultation again in the future. Other reviews may be undertaken as necessary, for example as a result of changes in legislation or guidance or franchise. A printed version of the updated document will be made available each year following review. 22

25 The most up-to-date version of this guide will be available on our website and from our assisted travel help line (free of charge). We are committed to the national information database which is used by our assisted travel team, National Rail Enquiries and other train operators (station details from this database are shown on nationalrail.co.uk and southernrailway.com). We will encourage its development as a National Database of facilities at stations. We have a link from our website to the National Rail website to help you. We also support the Stations Made Easy tool which is available on the National Rail website and provides maps, photographs and route planning tool of each station in the UK and agree to update the information via station access surveys when major access changes occur at stations. We are committed to sharing our station details with you, our passengers, our staff and other train operators. Information is available at help points, station ticket offices, via Customer Services and on our website. Adjustable height ticket counter 23

26 5. Tickets, Railcards, fares and discounts Buying a ticket You can buy tickets with cash or credit/debit cards at stations from ticket offices, from self-service ticket machines or with credit/debit cards from our website. If you are booking assistance you can also purchase tickets over the phone using credit/ debit cards. All of our ticket offices have induction loops and amplification systems fitted and many also have low-level or adjustable-height windows. Our self-service ticket machines can sell discounted tickets to holders of a range of railcards, including Senior, Family and Friends, Network, Disabled Persons (DPRC), or Ticket machines are low-level, for the convenience of wheelchair users and other passengers needing low access. We recognise that some disabled people may be unable to use the machines or access the ticket office. In these cases you may buy a ticket on the train from the conductor (where available) or at your destination or interchange station you must however purchase a ticket at the first accessible opportunity. You will be able to get any appropriate discounts on your ticket. Southern Revenue Protection Officers will use their discretion enforcing penalty fares in these circumstances. Tickets can also be purchased online at the appropriate discount if you hold a valid railcard. To buy tickets you will need to register on our website, and tickets can be posted to you or picked up from the ticket machines at stations. 24

27 The greatest discounts for travel are usually available in advance and special discounts are usually available on our website southernrailway.com. There is no booking fee applied to these tickets. If you have bought a discounted ticket with a railcard you will need to bring the railcard with you when you travel to show when your ticket is inspected. Discounted tickets are not valid without the relevant railcard. Disabled Persons Railcard Passengers can apply for a Disabled Persons railcard which allows you, and an adult companion travelling with you, discounts on most rail fares in Great Britain. Full details can be found in ATOC s Rail Travel Made Easy leaflet, which is available at most stations. The leaflet contains an application form or you can call their application help line on or text phone or for help, information and advice. Further information is also available at disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk To receive the discounts offered by using the Disabled Persons Railcard (usually 1/3 off most tickets) a passenger must have already applied for and received the card. Concessionary fares Discounts are also available to some nonrailcard holders: Passengers who remain in their wheelchair for their journey You are eligible for a discount The same discount also applies to your companion if you are being accompanied. 25

28 Registered visually impaired passengers travelling with a companion You are eligible for a discount provided you are travelling with a companion. The discount is also applicable to your companion. You will need to show documentation from a recognised institution, for example Social Services (eg CVI or BD8), local Authority, Blind Veterans UK, when purchasing tickets. Concessionary fares are currently available only to the above, and the discount you are entitled to under the scheme is 34% off full-fare Anytime tickets (First class or Standard class Anytime single or return fares). The same 34% applies to First class or Standard class Anytime Day single fares and 50% off First class or Standard class Anytime Day return fares. Oyster cards Oyster cards can be used across some parts of the Southern network. You can use Oyster pay-as-yougo offering you a discount compared to the cash fare for the same journey and prepaid zoned travel cards (which are cheaper than paying each day) on all Southern services in the London Fare Zones (zones 1-6). You can buy your Oyster card from East Croydon and Balham and from any Southern station within the London Fare Zones (some smaller stations may have a limited number of Oyster cards available). Oyster cards are also available from any London Underground station, any one of 3,800 Oyster ticket shops, London Overground ticket offices or online at tfl.gov.uk/oyster 26

29 Oyster card and reader Buying a train ticket You can also top up your Oyster card at any Southern self-service ticket machine in the London Fare Zones. If you have a railcard which entitles you to discounted fares you can go to any TfL ticket office with your Oyster card and Railcard and they will be able to add an allowance to your Oyster card that will give you the entitled rail card discount on pay-asyou-go fares. Using your Oyster pay-as-you-go card is very easy; simply remember to touch in on the yellow reader with the Oyster symbol on it at the start of your journey and touch out at the end of your journey. The cost of your journey is automatically deducted from the balance on your card. Make sure you have topped up your card to cover the cost of your journey before you start. If you have any issues or questions about Oyster cards please ask a member of staff or pick up one of the leaflets at our stations. You can also contact the Oyster Helpline directly on (open , 364 days a year) or visit tfl.gov.uk/oyster or nationalrail.co.uk 27

30 The Key Southern have introduced the key which is a smartcard similar to an Oyster card at all outer London stations and by December 2013 will have introduced it across London too. Smartcards are an alternative to paper tickets, making it easier and quicker for passengers to buy and use Southern tickets. Smartcards are contactless and reusable which means they can be loaded again and again with various types of tickets including seasons, singles and returns. The key smartcard enables customers to purchase online and travel using a one- touch transaction. Customers will be able to store and manage various tickets through their personal online account and will also have the ability to purchase tickets at the self service ticket machines located at stations. Multiple tickets can be loaded onto the key smartcard and a pay as you go option will be introduced by December During 2013 single and return tickets on The Key will become available for purchase which will also mean Railcard discounts will be available on these tickets. National Rail Conditions of Carriage When you buy a ticket to travel on the National Rail network you enter into an agreement with the train companies whose trains you have the right to use. That agreement gives you the right to make the journey or journeys between the stations or within the zones shown on the ticket you have bought. The ticket conditions set out your rights and any restrictions to those rights. A copy of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage is available at nationalrail.co.uk 28

31 6. At the station a) Entrances We will not make permanent alteration to station facilities which reduces step-free access to the station (such as permanently closing a station entrance) without prior consultation with: Passenger Focus; London TravelWatch; local access groups; national organisations (where relevant) and DfT. Where the closure is necessary an application for minor modification determination will be made to the DfT following consultation. b) Signage and passenger information Our station signage includes large contrasting lettering and pictorial diagrams. Our Customer Information Systems display realtime train information consistently on monitors, flat screens and dot matrix displays. These are located on most platforms and other locations throughout stations. Visual information is now available at all stations. For safety, signs, pillars and posts around stations have contrasting bands to highlight them. Almost all station platforms have regular audio announcements, most of which are prerecorded to provide consistency. There will also be manual announcements made by the station teams or control teams, particularly during times of disruption, to update passengers in a timely manner. Aural information is also available via our help points at stations All stations have posters, screens and / or leaflets on display giving such information as scheduled train services, opening times, onward journey information, accessibility information and general 29

32 information about facilities and services offered by Southern. They also show where further information can be found. Staff will be pleased to assist passengers who are unable to find the information they require. c) Help and information points Most stations have information help points on the platforms. The help points are white circular units with blue and green buttons, one for general queries and one for emergency calls. These buttons are directly linked to the Southern control centre where you can speak to someone who will help you. By using these help points, you can call for assistance with an enquiry or, in the case of an emergency talk to someone who can connect you to the relevant emergency services. White Help points are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are linked to the 24 hour station CCTV system and are monitored at our control centre. All our help points have a hearing loop installed in them which enables some passengers with hearing aids to hear the staff response more easily. Some help points also have induction loops installed connected to the PA at the station (indicated by markings on the floor) which enables some passengers to hear station announcements more easily. At some stations we have also installed a listening post in waiting rooms which has a hearing loop installed so that passengers with a hearing aid can listen to the announcements in the waiting room too. Some stations have yellow help points which 30

33 offer an automated response detailing the last announcement at the station. Stations with these help points also have the interactive white help points too. Staffed information points At larger stations there are staffed information points which are generally signed with information or the letter i for information. At most stations these are on one of the platforms but at some very large stations such as Brighton and London Victoria they are on the concourse of the station. Staff at information points have access to information about Southern and other operator services either from printed material or from the internet or from our internal systems which provide us with real-time information about train services travelling through that station. Meeting points We have nominated meeting points at all of our stations which the Assisted Travel Team can identify to you when booking assistance from a specific station. If you are unsure of where to meet staff at a station or you do not know the station very well you can ask that staff meet you at the designated meeting point and this will be added to your booking. Meeting points are signed at each station or alternatively the Assisted Travel Team can describe where they are so that the staff can meet you there. Information from staff and posters All staffed information points and station help points will be able to give you information on timetables, fares and connections. Staffed information points will have information about any booked assistance that is to be provided from that station. 31

34 Accessible ticket gate Help point Station teams will be able to advise passengers about onward travel arrangements or direct passengers to local services that can provide this information. We have worked to provide all information that passengers may need for their journey at our stations in a logical and consistent fashion and placed where most passengers have access to it. Where possible we locate leaflets to be accessible to all passengers and are provided at varying heights in racks across the station. All information that can be found at a station on information posters or leaflets is also available through our customer services. Staff at the station will also be able to help with queries about information. Real-time information All our customer information systems at stations show real-time information about the train services travelling through the station. Station teams also have access to real time information about services so will be able to answer queries you have about services due to arrive or depart from the station. 32 d) Ticket machines Ticket machines are low-level, for the convenience of wheelchair users and other passengers needing low access and provide an average height use for all our passengers.

35 Our self-service ticket machines can be quick and easy to use, and can sell discounted tickets to holders of a Senior, Family and Friends, Network, Disabled Persons (DPRC) or railcards. N.B. The facility to purchase tickets online also gives your entitled discount with a valid railcard. It requires you to register your details on our secure website with the option of tickets being posted or picked up at stations. Our website southernrailway.com is often the cheapest way to purchase tickets, especially advance tickets. e) Ticket gates At stations where ticket gatelines are in place either a wide automatic ticket gate or a manually operated gate will be available, either staffed or left open when unstaffed. f) Left luggage There are left-luggage facilities at London Victoria and Gatwick Airport stations. The facilities are step-free from the main concourse and are provided by the Excess Baggage Company. There are no individual lockers, so staff will take the luggage from you at reception following security checks, and lock it away securely until you return to collect it. g) Station catering facilities and other retail units Although we do not manage catering outlets at our stations, we do work with retailers to make their services as accessible as possible. We work with our retail outlets at stations to ensure where possible obstructions or obstacles are not positioned so that they reduce access. Where they do, retailers are requested to reposition the items. 33

36 7. On the train a) How to get information and assistance on trains All our trains have audio and visual information systems. These provide information on the following: Final destination of the train and stations it will stop at on the way; Next station (both in advance and on approach to the station); Short platforms (where the doors of one or more carriages will not open); Where especially large gaps between the train and the platform may be experienced when getting on or off the train; The number of carriages in total and carriage number you are in (on newer trains); Where the train will be divided en route forming two trains with differing destinations, we will make both aural and visual announcements to advise you which part of the train you should be travelling in. During delays, the conductor or driver will make announcements through the on-board public address system. Initially this may be an apology if the delay has been a few minutes as the cause may not be known. During train delays of more than 10 minutes, the conductor or driver will make announcements regarding the cause of the delay and will keep you updated if the delay continues. If the automatic system fails, the conductor or driver will make announcements as required. They have been trained to deliver these clearly and to be aware of the needs of passengers who have hearing or visual impairments. 34

37 Where possible, announcements made on-board will be accompanied with visual information, however, as visual messages have to be programmed in advance the most relevant message will be chosen for the circumstances. Where visual information cannot be displayed to complement the aural manual announcements, train or station staff will be able to assist. Please make your need for information known to the staff. Before entering service each day our trains undergo a series of checks to ensure key items are working properly. This check includes the visual and aural announcements on-board the train. If a fault is found with the train s passenger information system it is usually rectified before entering service for the day. If the fault cannot be rectified there and then, either the train will be substituted with another or the on-board staff will be advised to make regular announcements until the fault can be fixed. If you are on a train that develops a fault with the onboard announcements please notify a member of staff as soon as possible. If the train has no conductor, sometimes the driver will be unaware that a fault with the announcements has developed in a specific carriage. In this case, please inform a member of staff at the station where you alight. This information will be passed to our Fleet department for attention. b) Seats on trains You cannot reserve seats on Southern services. However, if requested, a member of our station or onboard staff will help you to a seat on any part of the train. Bookings made via our Assisted Travel Team are for assistance rather than reserving a seat. 35

38 We have spaces for wheelchair users provided within the standard class seating area on all trains. These are marked on the outside of the carriage with a wheelchair symbol and on some trains by a red stripe on the outside of the doors. Priority Seats & Priority Seat Cards We provide priority seating in each carriage for use by disabled passengers, expectant mothers, older passengers and those carrying infants. Our priority seats are clearly labelled and on all our trains. They are generally close to the exit doors so they are more accessible to passengers who need them. On application and subject to certain qualifying criteria Southern can provide a Priority Seat Card to passengers who have a disability, who are over 65, who are pregnant, or carrying an infant. For current information about Priority Seat Cards and details of how to apply if you are in need of a seat please contact Customer Services or visit our website southernrailway.com/priority If you have not booked assistance and need help boarding the train you should contact a member of station staff. All of our stations in the Greater London Area (with the exception of Birkbeck), are staffed from the time of the first to last train so assistance and information can be provided by station staff at these stations. If you are at an unstaffed station, often the train conductor can provide assistance. If there is no conductor on the train, please use the Help Point or call our Assisted Travel Team to arrange assistance. It is always advisable to book assisted travel if you can. If you have booked assistance, staff can help you to 36

39 find a seat as part of the assistance offered. If you have not managed to book, please ask a member of staff to help you onboard and find a seat. If there are no staff at the station please contact our assisted travel line or use the Help Point at the station where available. There might be a slight delay in providing this assistance if you haven t booked. Conductors and drivers have specific duties to perform with regard to the running of the train. However, if you are assisted onto a train by station staff, where possible they will let train crew know that you are on the train so they will be aware of your needs in case of emergency and to help with your assistance. Bookings made through Southern Assisted Travel and received 24 hours before travel are also included in the Conductors train working for their shift. If you know your journey plans in advance, you can book assistance and we will provide this at any Southern station, at the time agreed. c) On board our trains We operate several different types of train. Our newer trains (class 377 and 171) are compliant with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (1998) (RVAR). Southern operates approximately 900 carriages across its routes, over 700 are RVAR-compliant. The remainder are older carriages (classes 455, 456, 313 and 442) which have been upgraded, where possible, to include many features to improve accessibility. More detail about each train and its accessibility can be found at the end of this document. All trains* have the following features: Dedicated spaces for wheelchair users; Priority seating** for use by disabled passengers, 37

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