|London TravelWatch guide helps passengers plan their festive travel
London’s transport watchdog has published a guide to help those who need to travel over the festive season to assess their options and plan their journeys in advance.
The guide covers National Rail services, Eurostar and services in London provided by Transport for London, with links to useful sources of information and answers to key questions those looking to travel over the festive period are likely to have.
|Eurostar must be straight with passengers about their refund rights says watchdog
London TravelWatch, the transport watchdog responsible for Eurostar services has today called for the company to be more transparent on their website about passengers’ rights to a full refund when their train has been cancelled.
The watchdog has reminded passengers using the cross channel service that they are entitled to a cash refund if their train is cancelled, and urges them to make their claim as soon as they can. It is also advising passengers who have previously been given travel vouchers when their Eurostar service was cancelled but were not made aware of their right to a cash refund, that they should also put a claim in if they want to exchange their voucher for cash. They have 60 days from the point of cancellation to do so
|London Climate Action Week offers an opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing London
So much has been written about the need to avoid a car-based recovery during the current pandemic. As we entered the first lockdown there were positive signs in the fight against climate change due to reduced human activity, particularly in transport. But rising traffic levels in recent months would suggest that we could be starting to lose the battle, with traffic levels rising since the first lockdown was eased and hardly falling after the start of the second lockdown. And in London, the stakes are even higher than the rest of the country with over a third of Londoners expecting to use their car more when the pandemic is over, especially those who have children. So there is no better time to reflect on the issues facing the capital this London Climate Action Week.
|Watchdog urges Mayor to keep bus fares low following new TfL funding agreement
As the ink dries on TfL’s new funding deal with the Government, London TravelWatch has called for the Mayor of London to keep bus fares as low as possible in January to ensure that bus travel is still affordable for the millions of Londoners who rely on it.
London TravelWatch accept that fares in London overall will rise by RPI+1 in January but in a letter to the Mayor it has highlighted the fact that lower income Londoners are particularly reliant on the bus to get around. The watchdog also pointed out that not everyone has a job where they can work at home so it is important that there is still an affordable mode of transport available for those who need it.
|Emma Gibson responds to TfL's new financial deal with the Government
Responding to the news that TfL has secured a new funding deal with the Government, London TravelWatch Director, Emma Gibson commented: ‘We are relieved that TfL has agreed a new funding deal with the Government, averting the nightmare scenario of a virtual public transport shutdown in London. It is good news that free travel for under-18s and over-60s will not be removed and a huge relief for passengers that the proposed substantial fares hikes are no longer on the cards, although the planned inflationary rise in January will still hit many key workers and low income Londoners hard. No doubt more details will come out over the coming days, which will spell out how cuts of £160m will have to be made by TfL. This could mean that there are still some nasty surprises in store for Londoners, including cuts to vital services.’
|London TravelWatch investigates: What is the future of London’s transport network?
Where, when and how will people be travelling once the current pandemic is finally over? London TravelWatch is looking to answer these questions and we want to involve Londoners in the process.
Over the course of the pandemic there have been many rapid changes to life in London. We have had to adapt our day to day lives to allow for social distancing. Many of the things we took for granted as normal have changed fundamentally: including transport and travel. Many people may have been working from home when they used to commute into London every day. Working patterns, shopping habits and socialising may have been changed too. For others, less may have changed, and they may still be doing their usual journey to work or to care for friends and family.
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