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UK News Labour demands higher rail fares axed over Christmas period

00:25  30 november  2020
00:25  30 november  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has urged people to "look very carefully at the transport route they take" home for Christmas - and even consider not travelling.

The Labour party is urging the government to suspend peak rail fares and introduce mass testing for transport staff to avert “chaos” as COVID-19 restrictions ease for Labour warns that more than two million people use the rail network to travel over Christmas and New Year in previous festive periods .

a crowd of people at a train station with Liverpool Street station in the background: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Calls have been made by the Labour party to suspend peak fares to stop travel chaos over the Christmas period.

Travel restrictions have been lifted between December 23 and 27 to allow people to spend time with family.

The party wants ministers to suspend higher fares over the five days where restrictions are eased to reduce overcrowding on off-peak trains.

a group of people at a train station with Liverpool Street station in the background: Calls have been made by the Labour party to suspend peak fares to stop travel chaos over the Christmas period (file image) © Provided by Daily Mail Calls have been made by the Labour party to suspend peak fares to stop travel chaos over the Christmas period (file image)

But the easing of travel restrictions has sparked fears of a rise in coronavirus outbreaks.

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Labour has called on ministers to suspend peak fares in a bid to prevent travel chaos this Christmas . The party has also called on the government to introduce mass coronavirus testing for transport workers over the Around two million people each year travel by rail between Christmas and New Year.

Labour is demanding that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps present a "comprehensive travel plan" to the House of Commons next week that looks at the lifting of The Department for Transport will publish measures next week that will ease travel disruption over the Christmas period , which will use

Around two million people travel by rail each year between Christmas and New Year.

Jim McMahon wearing a suit and tie: Jim McMahon (pictured), Labour's shadow transport secretary, said a 'comprehensive travel plan' was needed © Provided by Daily Mail Jim McMahon (pictured), Labour's shadow transport secretary, said a 'comprehensive travel plan' was needed

There are also fears the virus will spread across the UK, as ministers have announced easing of rules on household gatherings, allowing three to meet together.

The party has also called on the government to introduce mass coronavirus testing for transport workers of staff including train workers and bus drivers.

Jim McMahon, Labour's shadow transport secretary, said a 'comprehensive travel plan' was needed to ensure families travelling over the UK were safe.

He also added that ministers coming to Parliament on Monday should be prepared so that 'chaos on our roads and rail network is avoided'.

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Travel warning: Boris Johnson under pressure over Christmas plan amid fears of CHAOS. To minimise the risk of overcrowding on trains, Labour is calling for the Government to scrap peak fares during the eased period . They are demanding the plan looks at the lifting of the travel restrictions.

With some advanced fares like Avanti West Coast, which runs trains on the West Coast Main Line, going on sale from 13 December. Hendy will examine whether road, rail and air links will be fit for purpose when festive travel is crunched into the period from 23 December to 27 December.

Mr McMahon added: 'Families will be looking forward to travelling to see one other this Christmas after a really tough year.

'However, we cannot afford to be complacent. The virus still poses a very serious risk to people's health.'

a person standing in front of a sign: Pictured: Chair of Network Rail, Peter Hendy (L) and Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (R) attending a remote press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on June 4, 2020. Sir Peter has been appointed as the government's Christmas travel tsar © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: Chair of Network Rail, Peter Hendy (L) and Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (R) attending a remote press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on June 4, 2020. Sir Peter has been appointed as the government's Christmas travel tsar

This comes after the Government were considering putting on extra trains and may suspend engineering work as Britons hit the railways for their Christmas bubble.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has reportedly urged Network Rail and train operators to submit plans to prevent overcrowding on trains over the festive period.

In addition, parts of the railway network are due to be shut down for engineering work.

Train capacity is currently limited to around a fifth of normal levels in order to maintain social distancing between passengers.

Sir Peter Hendy, who is currently the chairman of Network Rail, has been tasked looking into whether road, rail and air links in Britain will be for for purpose when festive travel kicks in.

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