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  • Travelling by Train with an Assistance Dog

    Travelling by train with Assistance Dogs

    To help us achieve our goal and commitment of delivering the best possible service to our customers, Arriva Trains Wales offers the ‘Assistance Dogs Travel Scheme’ in partnership with Assistance Dogs (UK).

    Assistance Dogs (UK) represent eight registered charities. These are: Guide Dogs, Canine Partners, Dog A.I.D, The Seeing Dogs Alliance, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Medical Detection Dogs, Support Dogs and Dogs for Good.

    The principle aim of the scheme is to raise awareness of the needs of Assistance Dog owners among our employees and customers when travelling by train. Increasingly, Assistance Dog owners are enjoying the benefits and freedom of travel. Their dogs undergo intensive training in preparing them to use public transport.

    In most cases, assistance dog owners do not experience problems when travelling by train. However, one area where customer feedback has indicated an opportunity to further improve our service is the provision of a ‘protected space’ for the customer’s dog.

    Assistance Dogs are trained to sit at their owner’s feet and naturally require additional space to sit or lie down during their journey. By following a few simple steps, the scheme helps ensure that all Assistance Dogs and their handlers can travel safely and in comfort.


    Assistance Dog CardHow does the scheme work?

    Customers who travel with the support of an Assistance Dog can obtain a personal,
    highly visible and re-usable ‘Assistance Dog’ card by submitting a request to community@arrivatw.co.uk.  The card will then be posted to you with 7 working days and can be used on any service operated by Arriva Trains Wales.

    The cards are the same size as a standard seat reservation card and fit into the reservation holder on top of the seat.  On boarding the train, the card can be inserted into the reservation holder above the seat adjacent to the customer’s.  This will inform other customers that the seat and space in front is being kept free in order for the dog to lie in comfort and safety next to its owner.

    Should you require any assistance with boarding, alighting and finding your seat, the Conductor on board the train or a member of platform staff will be able to assist you.



    Assisted Travel Service

    Our Assisted Travel Services allows customers to reserve a seat on a train, book assistance in advance and buy tickets.

    As well as booking assistance for travel on our services, we can help you to book assistance on journeys across the UK rail network where you are travelling with other train operating companies. Our Assisted Travel team can be contacted on 033 300 50 501. Lines are open 0800 – 2000, seven days a week (excluding December 25 and 26) and calls are charged at local rates. The textphone number for bookings is 0845 758 5469.


    Seat Reservations

    Seat reservations are available on most services operated by Arriva Trains Wales. These are free and are indicated in the timetable by the diamond symbol.  You can check if the train you wish to travel on is reservable by contacting our Assisted Travel Team. Reservations can normally be made up to 12 weeks before the date of travel and also within 24 hours of the time of travel.

    Whenever possible, on longer distance journeys, customers travelling with Assistance Dogs are encouraged to reserve two seats in advance. One seat will be for the customer - the other will be kept free for the dog to sit or lie on the floor next to the customer.

    Wheelchair users travelling with an assistance dog are advised to reserve the dedicated space for a wheelchair user and the ‘companion seat’. The space in front of the companion seat will be kept free for the Assistance Dog.

    We regret that it is not possible to reserve seats on the following routes;

    • the Cardiff & Valleys network

    • Wrexham to Bidston Line

    • Conwy Valley Line between Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog

    • Local services between Pembroke Dock and Swansea

    • Local services between Maesteg, Cardiff and Cheltenham Spa

    If you need to call to book assistance on December 26 to travel on December 27, please call National Rail on 
    03457 48 49 50 or textphone

    0345 60 50 600. You can also book assistance via the homepage of our website. Please click on the ‘Book Assistance’ link at www.arrivatrains.wales/assistedtravel.

    Should you have any query in relation to this scheme, please contact our Customer Relations team on 
    03333 211 202 between 0800 - 2000 Mondays to Saturdays and 1100 - 2000 on Sundays.  You may also contact us by email at customer.relations@arrivatrainswales.co.uk.