If you’re pregnant, are there any train travel concessions?

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If you’re pregnant, some train companies will give you a priority seat. But here’s no UK-wide policy adopted by all rail companies. Find out who does what.

East Midlands Trains: If you’re at least you’re at least 20 weeks into your pregnancy and you have a season ticket, you can apply for authorisation to sit in first class if there are no seats in standard class. You have to:

– Send in a copy of your season ticket.
– Send in a copy of your maternity certificate (MAT B1).
– Send them to: Customer Service Centre,
East Midlands Trains,1 Prospect Place, Millennium Way, Pride Park,
Derby, DE24 8HG

First Great Western: If you’re at least 25 weeks into your pregnancy and you have a season ticket, you can apply for authorisation to sit in first class if there are no seats in standard class. You have to:

– Send in a copy of your season ticket.
– Send in a copy of your maternity certificate (MAT B1) or Family.
Health Services Authority Exemption Certificate (FP92).
– Send them to: Customer Services Team, FREEPOST SWB40576
Plymouth PL4 6ZZ.

SAVVY TIP: You’re not guaranteed a seat in first class and this won’t help you if you work part-time and so don’t buy a season ticket.

Southern Railway: There’s no scheme to upgrade pregnant women to first class, but trains have priority seats. You can apply for a priority seat card to show other passengers who, presumably, don’t realise you’re pregnant or are too ignorant to give up their seat when they do. You’ll need to send a copy of your MAT B1 certificate to get a priority seat card. You’ll have to download the from the above link — send it to: Southern Customer Services, PO Box 10240, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, LE65 9EB

SAVVY TIP: The priority seat card is free, but costs £20 to replace if you lose it.

South West Trains: If you’re you’re 20 weeks or less from your due and you have a season ticket, you can apply for permission sit in first class if there are no seats in standard class. You have to:

– Fill in a mums to be form.
– Send in a copy of your season ticket.
– Send in a copy of your maternity certificate (MAT B1).
– Send them to: Mums 2B Co-ordinator, Overline House, Blechnyden Terrace, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 1AL.

SAVVY TIP: You’ll be given an upgrade card and a ‘mums-to-be’ badge.

Virgin Trains: there’s no first class upgrade policy as such because, according to the company, most people book their seat when they book their ticket. However, train managers have ‘complete discretion’ to allow a pregnant woman to sit in first class if the train is busy and there’s no spare seat.

SAVVY TIP: I asked the company if you would need to produce any evidence of your pregnancy (if you didn’t have an obvious bump!) and they said no. However, it might be worth taking a copy of your MAT B1 form with you.

Related articles: 

What happens to your pension when you take maternity leave?

Maternity rights at work; what are your pregnancy rights at work?

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