Avoiding the busiest travel times this Christmas

Last week the Government announced that the Coronavirus transport restrictions currently in place across the UK would be lifted for a five-day period between from 23rd to 27th December, as the UK prepares to spendtime with their friends and family over Christmas. What effect will this have on public transport?

December 9, 2020

Both the Government and rail operators expect some public services to be busy (if not as chaotic as some would suggest!), particularly with the impact of social distancing, and we know this to be true. But how?

Zipabout’s patent-pending technology can identify how busy the transport network will be. We use it to build a picture of where passengers are coming from, where they are going, and to power real-time personalised journey updates.

We shared some of our data exclusively with The Telegraph last weekend to highlight how travel behaviours are expected to shift over the Christmas travel period - and continue to shift. You can read the full article here: Rail passengers set to ignore five-day Christmas window amid overcrowding fears.

The data shows that many passengers are planning on travelling outside of the travel window. For example, in the four days leading up to it, some trains may be five times busier than what is currently normal. Many rail services are also likely to be more than twice as busy on the days immediately after December 27.

The graphics below show that December 23 has been highlighted as a particular potential bottleneck at London Euston and that of the 10 busiest stations in the UK, 6 are in London.

We shared this data because it highlights how quickly travel behaviour can change and that by trying to avoid the busiest times of travel, passengers might inadvertently walk into a busy station.

It’s therefore important that passengers plan ahead and sign up for personalised journey updates, including disruptions or changes to their route, via National Rail Enquiries’ Alert Me by Messenger service. The service is powered by Zipabout’s patent pending technology and available to all their users thanks to the support of the UK Department for Transport and Rail Delivery Group.

National Rail Enquiries Alert Me