Christmas traffic warning as experts predict 'surge' in travel

Travel companies are preparing for a ‘wave’ of travel in the UK during the five-day Christmas season.

The four British countries have agreed on the temporary relaxation that will allow three households to mingle in a temporary bubble from December 23 to 27.

And now that families have been given the freedom of coronavirus restrictions to form festive bubbles, trains, roads and coaches are expected to be busier, PA reports.

National Express bus company plans to expand its services to meet demand in the festive run-up.

Chris Hardy, General Manager of National Express UK Coach, said: “This is still a very limited network, equivalent to about 20% of our normal services with a focus on major cities, towns and airports.

“However, as England moves to regional levels students are encouraged to go home during the specified travel period and advice is given on what to do over Christmas, we expect travel demand to increase in December.

“We are expanding our services in early December and again later in the month as we get closer to Christmas.

“All decisions are made in consultation with the Department for Transport (DfT) about the requirement of a national bus network to keep the country moving safely.”

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has said it expects a “wave” of passengers over the five days.

General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is supporting the railroad in playing its part in ensuring that people can see their loved ones this Christmas and I will urgently consult with all train companies and the government to ensure that this is done carefully and correctly. is being planned. protect the safety of both employees and passengers. “

Railways organization, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said that while there is “no concern” about overcrowding in rail cars, thousands of services are expected to run daily to accommodate more passengers.

Robert Nisbet, director of countries and regions for the organization, said: “Railway companies are working with the government to ensure that passengers can travel with confidence during the festive season and that thousands of services will continue to run daily through Christmas.

“The latest information is on train operators’ websites and we ask people to book in advance, avoid busy times and check before they travel.

“Our pledge to travel safer means we clean more often and provide better travel information, and we ask people to help others by washing their hands and wearing a face cover regularly, unless exempted.”

Concerns have been raised about the overcrowded train cars after it was announced that Network Rail engineering work would take place from December 23 to January 4.

Most of the rail line will remain open, but some lines will close to allow work to take place.

London’s King’s Cross station will be closed for six days from Christmas Day as the £ 1.2 billion East Coast Main Line upgrade continues.

London North Eastern Railway has warned that “alternative routes are likely to be very busy and should also be avoided”.

However, the AA has said it was not “overly concerned” that road congestion might develop, suggesting that many families had canceled plans to spend Christmas together.

Edmund King, AA president, said, “Two-fifths of drivers who had already canceled festive travel plans may have been wary of risks to their loved ones – or secretly happy to avoid visiting in-laws.”