Since there are no plans for further COVID-19 restrictions during the Christmas and New Year period, public transport will be busier than usual. However, there will be no squeezing into packed coaches or trains even if over 80% of the UK population is vaccinated. Coaches, planes, and trains will be running at a limited capacity to observe the social distancing rules. If you’re considering travelling this festive season, how might transport services get affected?
As is the norm each year, no train services get provided on Christmas day and boxing day. But for days you can travel, it’s best you book ahead and avoid busy times because of the reduced carrying capacity and travel window. Some operators might stop passengers without a prebooked ticket from boarding. Advance tickets may also sell out or go for exorbitant prices. While more tickets will be available, they’ll get sold out faster. Thus, keep checking for your ticket and sign up for notifications from operators to ensure you get updates when more fares become available.
With an increased demand for trains, coach operators will probably increase their services during Christmas and New Year period. However, this still totals to a minimized service. This festive season timetable will cover about 55% of the destinations compared with the pre-pandemic period. The coaches will focus on main cities, airports, and towns, and more demand for services will increase as the government is expected to release guidance and directives on what coach operators can do over the period.
If you’re travelling by road, there will likely be reduced roadworks over the Christmas period. Most roadworks will get cleared on A-roads and motorways to ease congestion. Also, all non-essential roadworks will probably get removed. The speed limits will get reduced to minimize disruptions where roadworks must go on. However, traffic congestion may occur on roads despite the implemented measures. If you’re planning to self-drive, consider getting a lift instead so you can enjoy the festive season without having to worry about driving yourself.
If you are flying over Christmas then consider booking an airport taxi to ensure you get there promptly for your flight time, there’s nothing worse than the risk of your car not starting due to a flat battery owing to the winter weather!
Most airlines may consider increasing the number of seats available during Christmas. They’ll operate flights based on demand, requiring them to adjust flight schedules accordingly although you may find prices increase to serve the greater demand. Probably, additional capacity will get added to main routes, such as Dublin to Heathrow, during the Christmas period. However, there might be improved screening and monitoring at exit and entry ports. In some nations, borders might close, or you could be required to quarantine. If you’re considering flying, don’t travel if you feel unwell. Exit screening might be conducted, and you might be stopped from boarding if you show any symptoms of COVID-19.