Are you planning a trip by bus or train in Northamptonshire over the holidays? Here's what you need to know..
Operators ready for a "Christmas like no other" as families are finally able to get together
Train operators are braced for a “Christmas like no other” on the rails as passengers make the most of a five-day easing of coronavirus restrictions.
The Government’s window between December 23 and December 27 will allow up to three families to mix over the holidays as local rules are lifted.
No trains run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day so operators are warning travellers to plan their journeys carefully to avoid overcrowding.
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Normal weekday services will run on December 23 and 24 while the usual Sunday timetable will operate on December 27 — although last trains will depart earlier than usual.
London Northwestern Railway, which runs services between London and the Midlands via Northampton, says it will have the “longest trains possible” with additional carriages on many services and additional staff will be on hand at stations to help passengers on their way
Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said: “This year we will all experience a Christmas like no other and we’re urging our customers to plan their travel carefully during the Government’s travel window.
“We’re adding carriages to many services over the festive period so we can run the longest trains possible to help social distancing as well as maintaining our enhanced cleaning regimes. Face coverings remain mandatory on board unless exempt for medical reasons.
“Passengers who choose to use the railway can help us by planning ahead, purchasing their tickets online in advance and travelling at quieter times if they can.”
Meanwhile, passengers are being urged to check their train times ahead of the new LNR timetable which comes into effect on Sunday 13 December.
East Midlands Railway is warning its services through Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough could be even busier than usual due to engineering works at King's Cross forcing passengers to find alternative routes into and out of London.
Customer Services Director, Neil Grabham, said: “Our staff will be working hard over the Christmas period to make sure people can be together at what is a very important time for many families, especially in light of what a tough year it has been.
“To help the festive period go as smooth as possible we are urging our passengers to leave plenty of time to plan their journey and to follow all the safety advice that can be found online and in our stations."
A detailed list of EMR’s services over the Christmas period can be found on its website HERE.
On the buses, operator Stagecoach says no services will be running on Christmas Day and Boxing Day with a mostly weekend timetable operating from December 27 until January 4.