The train operator behind the country's busiest rail franchise has launched a guide to help people with autism travel with ease.

Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express franchise has paired up with an autism ambassador to produce a guide which helps people with autism and anxiety travel with confidence.

Josh Puglia, from Goring-by-Sea is an ambassador trustee at the Grace Eyre charity in Brighton, which supports people with learning disabilities.

He said: "I can't drive because I have autism, so being able to travel by train is so important to me.

"It gives me independence to travel to Brighton.

"But it's really challenging. If it's really busy and there's a queue behind me at the ticket office, or if it's noisy, it makes me really anxious and I can feel overwhelmed.

"This guide will help others with autism see how they too can buy tickets and travel by train."

The Argus: The cover of the easy ticket guideThe cover of the easy ticket guide (Image: Govia Thameslink Railway)

Josh joined GTR's access advisory panel, which is a group of disabled volunteers hwo give the company practical advice on making improvements.

Accessibility engagement manager Antony Merlyn worked on the guide with Josh and other autistic staff members at GTR.


He said: "The idea to produce the 'easy ticket guide' came when I first spoke to Josh when he joined our panel.

"Together, we discussed how uying tickets can create anxiety and potentially present a barrier to travel for many disabled customers  - not just those with autism.

"It's not just about doing big things like installing lifts. This guide is a very simple idea which tackles a very real potential source of anxiety."

Passengers are able to download the guide from the rail company's support while you're travelling pages on its wesite.