Prepare passengers advised to book early for festive travel

People planning to travel by train for Christmas are encouraged to book “as early as possible” to avoid being denied boarding.

The London North Eastern Railway (LNER) issued the warning about the release of tickets for the festive period on Friday.

The operator, which runs trains on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross and Scotland, expects its Christmas Eve services to sell out quickly.

Capacity on trains will be “significantly reduced” to allow for social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, and people without pre-booked tickets will not be allowed to travel.

London King’s Cross Station will be closed for six days from Christmas as part of the £ 1.2 billion upgrade to the East Coast Main Line.

An LNER spokesman said, “We understand the disruption this technical work may be causing to the Christmas plans this year. We therefore urge our customers to plan and book their trip as early as possible. “

On Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said people should consider not taking the train for Christmas.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We need to understand that the (rail) network has limitations, for example caused by the fact that some trains have to book tickets in advance at this time to avoid overcrowding.

“That is why we will ask people to look very carefully at the transport route they are taking and of course even to decide whether they will travel at all.”

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Avanti West Coast, which operates trains on the West Coast Main Line, is releasing its Advance Fares in the coming days.

These cheaper tickets are usually available 12 weeks in advance, but their release has been delayed during the pandemic due to last-minute changes to the timetable.

The rail and road bureau’s rail regulator said last month companies needed to do more to keep travelers informed.

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