COVID-19: Unions Call for ‘Comprehensive’ Christmas Travel Plan to Help People Avoid ‘Chaos’ | Political news

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The government is urged to suspend peak rail fares and introduce mass testing for transport workers, to help the country avoid travel “chaos” as Christmas approaches.

Workforce calls on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to present to the House of Commons next week a “comprehensive travel plan” which contemplates the lifting of COVID-19[feminine[feminine travel restrictions between December 23 and December 27.

A temporary easing of restrictions was accepted by devolved administrations over Christmas, which will allow up to three households to mix in a single bubble.

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Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy was named Christmas Travel Tsar this week, and will examine the impact of the relaxation of rules on air, rail and road networks during the five days, and review their readiness.

According to Labor, more than two million people have used the rail network to travel on Christmas and New Years in previous years, while millions more have taken road trips.

To minimize the risk of train overcrowding, the party called on the government to temporarily remove peak fares during the lockdown period.

It is also encouraging the government to implement COVID-19 mass testing for transport workers such as train staff, bus drivers and highway workers.

In addition, the Labor Party has also argued that planned maintenance work on the east coast main line, which connects London and Edinburgh, via cities such as York and Newcastle, should be delayed until December 27, so that people can return home safely.

The London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which operates the line, said planned engineering work would make the alternative routes “very busy”.

Shadow Secretary of Transportation Jim McMahon said: “Families will be looking forward to traveling to see each 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.

“That is why ministers are due to come to Parliament on Monday with a comprehensive travel plan to ensure the safety of families traveling across the country and avoid chaos on our roads and rail network.” ”

He added, “It’s too important for the government to ignore or let it go until the last minute. It is about protecting lives and livelihoods. ”

The Department of Transportation will release measures next week that will ease travel disruption over the Christmas period, which will use analysis of advance train ticket demand and public surveys.

Mr Shapps urged the public to plan “very carefully” and “where possible, book well in advance« .

He said: “As some advance tickets go on sale and people start planning their trips, we are closely assessing demand on the network and have already taken steps to minimize potential disruption.

“We are currently developing a plan focused on dealing with disruption – including running longer trains and relaxing the rules to allow more types of coaches to run. ”

The generally cheaper advance train tickets went on sale Friday – eight weeks later than usual, after delays in finalizing timetables.

Train capacity has been limited to allow social distancing, with many operators requiring travelers to book tickets in advance.

On the roads, the RAC said its recovery team expected its department to be busy during “the five days of Christmas.”

Labor shadow secretary of transport Jim McMahon will be a guest on Sophy Ridge on Sunday – watch live on Sky News from 8:30 a.m.

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