Sir Peter Hendy appointed Christmas travel tsar

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The government has appointed Sir Peter Hendy – Hon fellow of the IOC, Chairman of Network Rail – to act as a Christmas travel tsar.

Providing rigorous scrutiny of the plans of all rail, road, coach, maritime and aviation operators, he will ensure a collective focus across the transport industry on minimising disruption and supporting passengers.

Honorary fellow of the IOC, Network Rail Chairman, Sir Peter Hendy,

Throughout the pandemic, the transport industry has been united in its efforts to keep passengers and staff safe. We must ensure that shared focus continues at this important time.

The measures announced today will help ease congestion, boost capacity and minimise disruption for travellers. I will continue to work closely with all operators and offer recommendations that will see people home safely for Christmas.

Travellers are being urged to closely consider the timings of any journey and consider quieter routes. On rail and coach services, passengers should book in advance.

Long-distance rail operators, including LNER and Avanti West Coast, already require passengers to have a ticket booked with a seat reservation, enabling social distancing. For operators where passengers can still turn up and go, passengers are urged to book ahead, follow the guidance on social distancing closely, avoid the busiest times and consider using alternative forms of transport for shorter journeys.

Whatever the journey, people are asked to plan carefully, book ahead where possible, and be prepared for journeys to take longer than normal.