Rail operator GTR urges students to abide by festive travel window

Advice for students travelling home for Christmas by train.

Advice for students travelling home for Christmas by train. - Credit: Archant

Rail operator GTR, which serves Huntingdon and St Neots stations, is urging students to follow Government calls for a staggered travel window to make sure they get home safely for Christmas.

It said students who had booked tickets before the window from December 3-9 was announced would be able re book to fit in with travel requirements without facing extra charges.

GTR, which has been working with local universities, confirmed that service levels would not be changing over the period, enabling students to stagger their journeys in line with the Government’s call for students to travel only between the two dates.

It said it was supporting those who had to travel home by train during the window by sharing travel tips, advice and journey planning tools, in addition to retaining levels of service.

Jenny Saunders, customer services director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “It’s been a tough year, especially for those who have been living away from home. That’s why we’ve been working with universities in our area to prepare for the travel window and help get students get back to their families safely.

“We’ll have plenty of services running during the travel window, but we would suggest everyone plans their journey well in advance. We’ve been doing huge amounts to keep our trains and stations clean and we urge everyone travelling to wear a face covering and wash their hands before and after their journey.”

She added: “This is easier than ever to do, as we now have hand sanitising stations available at all of our stations.”

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GTR urged students to look at its How Busy is my Train web pages in order to travel in safer quiet periods and to use National Rail’s online journey planner to avoid disruption.

The operator said it would be working hard to support travellers after the national lockdown lifted and that students could feel confident of getting home in safety by following rules around stations and on trains.

GTR has been working with universities including: Anglia Ruskin, Bedfordshire, Cambridge, and Hertfordshire to make sure student travellers were safe.