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UK News ‘Surge’ in travel expected as families form Christmas bubbles

01:05  25 november  2020
01:05  25 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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People hoping to reunite with their families over Christmas must make a decision about whether they travel “at all”, a Cabinet minister said today. “Traditionally over the Christmas period for example a lot of engineering work takes place. I will try to do all I can to minimise that but some of those works

It might cost us another 25 day January lockdown just to see our friends and family for 5 days at CHRISTMAS ! UP NEXT. NOW PLAYING: Other. Forming Social Bubbles Over Christmas .

A “surge” in travel is expected over the five-day Christmas period as families form their festive bubbles with loved ones.

a highway filled with lots of traffic: Transport firms have warned of a ‘surge’ in travel over the Christmas period (Steve Parsons/PA) © Steve Parsons Transport firms have warned of a ‘surge’ in travel over the Christmas period (Steve Parsons/PA)

The UK Government and devolved administrations have agreed a temporary easing of coronavirus restrictions, which will allow three households to mix in a bubble from December 23 to 27.

Trains, roads and coaches are expected to be busier as many people look to make the most of the opportunity to spend Christmas with family and friends.

Coach operator National Express said it is increasing its services to meet demand in the run-up to Christmas.

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

“However, as England moves into regional tiers, students are encouraged to make their way home during the designated travel window and guidance is released about what we can do over Christmas, we expect demand for travel in December to grow.

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

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

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to travel home to spend Christmas with their families as part of a “student travel window” taking place between 3 December and 9 December. if people are permitted to form temporary bubbles as is expected , it means that some family members will be able to spend Christmas together.

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

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: The number of passengers using train services over the five-day period could increase (Victoria Jones/PA) © Provided by PA Media The number of passengers using train services over the five-day period could increase (Victoria Jones/PA)

General secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT supports the railway in playing its role in ensuring that people can see their loved ones this Christmas and I will be seeking urgent discussions with all the train companies and Government to ensure that this is carefully and properly planned to protect the safety of both workers and passengers.‎”

Rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said that although there is “no concern” of overcrowding on train carriages, thousands of services are expected to run daily to cope with more passengers.

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for the organisation, said: “Rail companies are working together with the Government to ensure that passengers can travel with confidence over the festive period and thousands of services will continue running daily up to and after Christmas.

Prime Minister warns families to make ‘careful judgment’ over Christmas plans

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A leading retail organisation has warned shoppers to follows Executive guidelines amid fears of a rush for Christmas presents before new lockdown restrictions Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “With a surge in shopping on our high streets this weekend, which is expected until November 27, we would

Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed it is 'likely' families will be able to form extended household bubbles for Christmas but warned rules will only be eased 'for a few days'. Nicola Sturgeon today cancelled Hogmanay as she confirmed that the easing of Covid rules over Christmas would not cover new year

“The latest information is on train operator websites and we are asking people to book ahead, avoid busy times and check before they travel.

“Through our safer travel pledge we are cleaning more often and providing better travel information, and we’re asking people to help others by washing their hands regularly and wearing a face covering, unless exempt.”

Overcrowding on carriages became a concern after it was announced that engineering work by Network Rail would take place from December 23 to January 4.

Most of the railway will stay open, but some lines will be closed to allow the work to take place.

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

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

However, the AA has said it was not “overly concerned” that traffic congestion could occur on roads, suggesting many families had cancelled plans to spend Christmas together.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Two fifths of drivers who had already cancelled festive travel plans may have been wary of risk to their loved ones – or perhaps secretly happy to avoid a visit to the in-laws.”

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