To travel or not to travel this Christmas?

27 November 2020

As Christmas travel guidance is published following the announcement on the easing of Covid restrictions, we are all probably thinking about what we might do in the five-day Christmas window (23 to 27 December). Will we make a journey to see loved ones, or will we stay put? It’s a big personal choice for all of us. Our insight showed that most people were waiting to see what Government said before planning any travel.

Some people will now press ahead with their plans and book their travel, others may look into making an alternative journey to their destination, while some will decide to deviate from their usual Christmas plans altogether and stay where they are. Clear Government guidance and clear information from the road, bus and rail sectors will be crucial. We’re calling for public transport operators to make it easier for passengers by letting them know what is on sale when, and how busy services are expected to be. Tickets for the east coast trains finally go on sale today and west rail routes next Tuesday, as coach operators also ramp up their services.

Transport Focus will be monitoring that information, making suggestions where we think things could be improved, and helping to ensure smooth, reliable journeys over this period.

We have lots of new insight work coming up in the build up to Christmas, including:

  • Attitudes towards and experiences of the student travel window (3 to 9 December).
  • Christmas plans for travel generally – how and when are people planning to get around and do they feel safe doing so?
  • Passenger attitudes to the Test and Trace NHS Covid-19 app.
  • Returning to public transport post lockdown(s) – how many days a week do people envisage they will be travelling? What ticket products are needed to encourage travel when the time is right?
  • Vaccines – what difference will they potentially make to travel plans next year?

As ever, we’ll be publishing what we discover and sharing it with industry to help it better meet the needs of transport users this Christmas and beyond.

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