Travel Advice for Students from Govia Thameslink Railway Image: Thameslink

Students should stagger their journeys

With the student travel window opening this Thursday (3 December 2020) Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is supporting those that need to travel home by train to do so safely, by sharing information on top tips, travel advice and journey planning tools – in addition to retaining service levels throughout the period.

The Government has called for students travelling home for Christmas to do so between 3 – 9 December. GTR has confirmed that service levels will not be changing, which will help students to stagger their journeys.

However, engineering works could affect certain routes so passengers are strongly encouraged to check before they travel.

Students who had already booked train tickets to travel home for Christmas before the announcement of the student travel window can now rebook their tickets to travel between 3 and 9 December without paying additional fees.

Chris Fowler, customer services director for Southern (part of GTR), 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 it’s essential that customers check before they travel. We’ve been doing huge amounts to keep our trains and stations clean in addition to reminding passengers that face coverings are mandatory in stations and on board our trains.

“Everyone must ensure they have one with them when travelling.”

To travel with confidence during the travel window, students should follow these simple steps from GTR:

  • See when specific stations and routes are usually the busiest, by going to the ‘How Busy is my Train’ webpages on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern. This will help customers identify the easiest times to socially distance
  • Check before travelling by using the online journey planner from National Rail, which highlights the latest service and disruption information
  • Download the ‘Passenger Connect’ tool, which delivers personalised, real time information through Facebook Messenger. 

GTR said it is working hard to support those who need to travel once the national lockdown lifts on Wednesday 2 December. By following Government guidance, as well as rules that are in place in and around stations and on trains – students can feel confident that they will get home safely by train.