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Northern announces new priority seating cards on International Day of People with Disabilities

03 December 2021
Northern is partnering with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme Limited to make travelling easier for people with visible and non-visible disabilities by launching a new priority seating card. 

The free card is specially designed to give people with a range of conditions that make it difficult to stand the confidence to ask other passengers to give up a priority seat, and the opportunity for others to offer theirs.  

Produced by the company behind the Sunflower Lanyard, the card is easily recognisable as a disability aid and has space for customer to personalise it on the back. 

Mark Powles, Commercial and Customer Director at Northern, said: “We are proud to be working with Hidden Disabilities to support those in our communities to use our trains and stations with confidence. 

“A small act by fellow travellers offering up their seat has an immediate effect but also gives a confidence boost that has a lasting impact. 

“We want to make our trains – and our wider network – as accessible as possible, and this scheme is the next step in the journey to deliver a Northern that works for everyone and makes a positive difference.” 

Priority Seating Cards are available from Blackpool, Barrow, Windermere, Wigan Wallgate, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road, Buxton, Bradford Interchange, Harrogate, Leeds, Meadowhall, Barnsley Interchange, Sunderland, Morpeth, and Hartlepool stations or online here

Paul White, CEO at Hidden Disabilities said: "We are delighted in partnering with Northern in providing the new Priority seating card and helping to make the rail network more accessible to all."

To celebrate the launch of the scheme and International Day of People with Disabilities, Northern is holding an event to at Manchester Victoria station on Friday 3rd December. 

The rail operator’s dedicated accessibility team will be on hand to help customers apply for the card and passengers will be able to try out a new virtual reality application from 10am-2pm.  

The technology, which is still being tested, allows passengers to explore their journey and the support they require in advance, from the comfort of their own home.  

Users will be able to experience trains, stations and interact with station and on-board staff in a realistic simulated environment on their own phones, tablets, and PCs or even in low-cost VR headsets for a fully immersive experience. They can take simulated journeys and experience the railway environment, as well as the support Northern staff will provide along the way. 

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