Train companies won't leave Northamptonshire's passengers out of pocket over cancelled Christmas trips

Refund rules ditched following shock change in Covid travel rules

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 12:24 pm

Train companies say Northamptonshire passengers who had to scrap Christmas journeys due to the Covid-19 pandemic will get their money back.

Thousands of journeys had to be scrapped having been planned weeks ahead using cheaper Advance tickets for specific services — which are not normally refundable.

But London Northwestern Railway and East Midlands Railway, which both run services through Northamptonshire, have ditched their usual rules to make sure passengers are not out of pocket following Saturday's surprise announcement of travel bans and a shorter Christmas window for meeting up with families and friends.

Northamptonshire's two train operators are ditching their usual refund rules after thousands of Christmas trips had to he scrapped

Passengers with regular tickets for travel from today (Wednesday) until Sunday December 27 which were bought after the travel window was announced on November 24 can re-book or refund their journeys for free via the London Northwestern and East Midlands Railway websites.

Those with Advance tickets can reschedule journeys for a future date as many times as they need, or ask to exchange it for travel vouchers which are valid for 12 months — although that needs to be done before the time of the first journey booked.

Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway — which runs trains between London and the Midlands via Northampton — said: "We know many of our customers purchased their Christmas tickets in advance and following the change in travel advice we have moved quickly to make sure the refund process is as easy as possible.

"For those people who are still travelling we are continuing to 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."

Christmas and New Year timetable changes include:

■ No services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day

■ Last trains will depart earlier than usual on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

■ Regular weekday services from December 27 onward although services from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough are expected to be busier due to engineering work at Kings Cross.