Do restrictions apply on the use of public transport in Wales? Are leisure journeys allowed or not?

Dai Corner

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AdamWW

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So they did. But not when I followed the link earlier...

OK that's good.

And yet on their web site:

1595873430044.png

(Not quite sure what the middle one is trying to say).

I suppose at some point they will also change the web site.

But having said that trains can now be used if it's your only option (which taken literally means they want you to catch the bus instead of the train if you can....), I wonder what their view will be on trains to Barry Island if we have another nice day this summer?
 

Class 33

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But having said that trains can now be used if it's your only option (which taken literally means they want you to catch the bus instead of the train if you can....), I wonder what their view will be on trains to Barry Island if we have another nice day this summer?
Thursday and Friday this week will be nice weather in Barry Island. Temperatures of 25C and 27C forecast!
 

Llandudno

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Sadly, yes.

Likewise the government guidance doesn't seem to have changed.

Though the bus companies I've looked at are no longer making a big point on their home page about not using their services.

And it's curious that the TFW (not TFW Rail) web site has some less restrictive wording tucked away in their FAQ.
Arriva in north Wales may not be discouraging travel in their messages, however, they are only operating around 25% of route mileage!
 

185143

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After each station stop, the guard came through and personally advised any passengers obviously on leisure journeys (carrying buckets and spades, for example) that "in Wales, public transport is only for essential travel".
This being the same TOC who have temporarily stopped calling at around 15 stations "due to social distancing" as the guards won't operate one door.

If they can walk into the train after every stop for this nonsense, they can do their actual job and call at all stations again.
 

AdamWW

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This being the same TOC who have temporarily stopped calling at around 15 stations "due to social distancing" as the guards won't operate one door.

If they can walk into the train after every stop for this nonsense, they can do their actual job and call at all stations again.
That really looks like a very strict interpretation of a risk assessment, doesn't it?

I.e. - guard must have their own area at the end of the train. Therefore passengers can't use that door. Therefore they can't stop anywhere that passengers would have to use that door...

I would have thought there would be various possible mitigations, such as guard opens door, steps onto platform, passengers board/alight, guard steps back in.

But then maybe that risks the passenger using the open control panel to shut the door and buzz the driver to start the train and that's too great a risk to take?

I believe that units where the local door is into the cab are prevented from stopping at stations where only one door can be opened. I appreciate that a rule that passengers should never be in the cab makes perfect sense, but I suspect there are countries where the risk from passengers passing briefly through a cab under supervision of a member of train crew would be accepted.
 

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That really looks like a very strict interpretation of a risk assessment, doesn't it?

I.e. - guard must have their own area at the end of the train. Therefore passengers can't use that door. Therefore they can't stop anywhere that passengers would have to use that door...

I would have thought there would be various possible mitigations, such as guard opens door, steps onto platform, passengers board/alight, guard steps back in.

But then maybe that risks the passenger using the open control panel to shut the door and buzz the driver to start the train and that's too great a risk to take?

I believe that units where the local door is into the cab are prevented from stopping at stations where only one door can be opened. I appreciate that a rule that passengers should never be in the cab makes perfect sense, but I suspect there are countries where the risk from passengers passing briefly through a cab under supervision of a member of train crew would be accepted.
TFW don't accept that view which is why trains are not calling at certain stations to enable the guard and passengers to use separate doors.
 

Greybeard33

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And yet on their web site:

View attachment 81373

(Not quite sure what the middle one is trying to say).

I suppose at some point they will also change the web site.

But having said that trains can now be used if it's your only option (which taken literally means they want you to catch the bus instead of the train if you can....), I wonder what their view will be on trains to Barry Island if we have another nice day this summer?
Well, currently the TfW Rail homepage still says, right at the top:
In Wales our trains are for essential travel.
You must wear a face covering on public transport. Travel Safer.
No exception for those with no other option. A button on the homepage takes you to the "Covid-19 Travel Safer" page, which says, near the top:
Thank you for not travelling with us during these exceptional times. This helps keep trains clear in Wales for key workers and those with essential needs.
Then, immediately before the "Stay safe" bullet you quoted above:
If your journey in Wales is essential, please Travel Safer:
And, lower down the page:
TRAVEL ADVICE ISSUED 22 JUNE:
  • Current Welsh Government guidance is to Keep Wales Safe and travel only if your journey’s essential.
  • ...
What is more, there is a pop-up that appears randomly on the website, saying
In Wales, essential travel only
Sign up for the latest updates.

When searching for a journey in Wales on the NRE website, the "Train times and tickets" page has a warning popup:
Essential travel only in Wales.
Transport for Wales services are for key workers and essential journeys only. You must wear a face covering.
And the "Route details" page has the same message adjacent to an exclamation mark in a red triangle. Again no exception for non-essential journeys when you have no other option. https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

So it seems to me that the messaging is still unchanged, for those passengers who do not use Twitter.
 

AdamWW

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So it seems to me that the messaging is still unchanged, for those passengers who do not use Twitter.
Well you can also go to the TFW (not rail) web site, scroll down past all the stuff about not using public transport, click on the link at the bottom to get to the FAQ which says at the top "You can, but you should only do so for essential journeys or if it’s your only option to travel. " (my bold). And while much of this document is still about essential travel only, it does specify near the end that you can use public transport for leisure if you really have no other choice.
 

Llandudno

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Which is the reason I still have not used public transport since mid March.

Trains in north Wales running virtually empty, missing out numerous stations, because unsafe to call at.
Costing the tax payer £millions+, might be better mothballing the network rather than playing with their train set.

As for Arriva buses in north Wales, you are now allowed to travel on them, but only about 25% of the buses are operating.

Meanwhile A55 traffic and car parks at tourist hotspots busier than ever!
 

AdamWW

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Which is the reason I still have not used public transport since mid March.

Trains in north Wales running virtually empty, missing out numerous stations, because unsafe to call at.
Costing the tax payer £millions+, might be better mothballing the network rather than playing with their train set.

As for Arriva buses in north Wales, you are now allowed to travel on them, but only about 25% of the buses are operating.

Meanwhile A55 traffic and car parks at tourist hotspots busier than ever!
Wales seems to want to restart the leisure economy in an entirely car based manner, apart from a bit of lip service to walking and cycling.
 

Llandudno

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Don’t forget if you are travelling from north to South Wales by train you are only allowed to eat and drink on the train and read a newspaper between Gobowen and Hereford and whilst the train is reversing at Chester station.

Definitely worth baring in mind if travelling this Friday as temperatures are expected to reach 30oC !
 

AdamWW

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Don’t forget if you are travelling from north to South Wales by train you are only allowed to eat and drink on the train and read a newspaper between Gobowen and Hereford and whilst the train is reversing at Chester station.

Definitely worth baring in mind if travelling this Friday as temperatures are expected to reach 30oC !
Fortunately these are only guidelines not law, as are the ones about not running for buses or travelling in "relative silence"
 

ChrisC

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I’ve booked a few nights next week in a hotel in North Yorkshire. I usually travel by public transport whilst on holiday often using rail and bus rover tickets but have decided in the current situation to travel there by car and mostly use the car whilst there.
I have been considering at least one of day out by bus but did wonder in the busy tourist area like the Yorkshire Coast and North Yorkshire Moors whether there could be difficulties with buses being full to capacity on some routes. This especially concerns me with getting back at the end of the day on routes where there are no evening buses.
East Yorkshire buses seem to be taking the sensible line that on the last bus of the day they will not leave passengers behind even if social distancing measures cannot be maintained.
Arriva, however, still appear to be taking a harder line advising passengers not to rely on the last bus of the day. They state on their website that the reduced capacity numbers cannot be exceeded and this even applies to the last bus of the day. Is this still the case and could I have problems with full buses especially on busy routes like Scarborough to Whitby?
 

AdamWW

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I’ve booked a few nights next week in a hotel in North Yorkshire. I usually travel by public transport whilst on holiday often using rail and bus rover tickets but have decided in the current situation to travel there by car and mostly use the car whilst there.
I have been considering at least one of day out by bus but did wonder in the busy tourist area like the Yorkshire Coast and North Yorkshire Moors whether there could be difficulties with buses being full to capacity on some routes. This especially concerns me with getting back at the end of the day on routes where there are no evening buses.
East Yorkshire buses seem to be taking the sensible line that on the last bus of the day they will not leave passengers behind even if social distancing measures cannot be maintained.
Arriva, however, still appear to be taking a harder line advising passengers not to rely on the last bus of the day. They state on their website that the reduced capacity numbers cannot be exceeded and this even applies to the last bus of the day. Is this still the case and could I have problems with full buses especially on busy routes like Scarborough to Whitby?
But hang on. If you can't rely on the last bus of the day, then you need to catch the bus before. But if that's full, you'd need the last bus and you can't rely on that. So you'd better go for the one before the one before the last bus. But if that's full?

The East Yorkshire bus approach seems eminently sensible to me, if you take the view that social distancing is not about protecting the individual, it's about reducing transmission in the UK. So having the last bus more 'dangerous' than the rest isn't being inconsistent - it's adding some risk for a very good cause.

(I think, however, that this isn't the thread for discussing North Yorkshire, though personally, and as the person who started the thread, I don't mind).

Back to Wales - does anybody know if TFW Rail have followed bus companies and started letting people sit in all the rows on their trains?

I did go on a train last week that had most window seats apparently available, but I'm not sure how official that was. Bus companies seem quite keen to tell people what their seating arrangements are but TFW Rail just seem to want you do go by the signs on the seats.
 

PHILIPE

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The NRE Website has been updated today and includes mention of Barry Island



NRE Updated
Transport for Wales - Essential travel only
More information on Great Western Railway - Timetable information and social distancing adviceexpand Great Western Railway - Timetable information and social distancing advice panel
Incident created20/03/2020 19:3 Last updated28/07/2020 04:59Route affected
All routes

Train operator affected Transport for Wales; Description
Transport for Wales are operating a reduced timetable, in line with current passenger demand and government guidelines which state that public transport should be for key workers and essential travel only. The revised timetable can be found here.
Please continue to follow the latest advice from government and public health officials. If you do travel by National Rail, please consider travelling at quieter times, carry hand sanitiser and follow social distancing guidelines. You must also wear a face covering, unless you are exempt.
What advice and information is available on crowding and social distancing?
The capacity of today's services, can be found here. This will help you decide which train to travel on to avoid the busiest times and services.
Your travel status will be subject to live and ongoing review, with checks by British Transport Police, TfW Rail Revenue inspectors and Security staff. Under conditions of over-capacity at stations and on trains, you may be denied travel until capacity drops.
Barry Island / Barry
Capacity on trains to and from Barry Island is limited and will be strictly enforced. Should overcrowding occur, trains may be delayed whilst capacity limits are restored or cancelled if delays become prohibitive. Evening and late night trains returning from Barry Island will be subject to strict capacity limits. Replacement travel options will not be provided.
Pontypridd station
There is a one way system operating at Pontypridd station. Please make sure you walk in the designated areas.
In order to maintain a safe distance between the conductor and customers, Transport for Wales need to be able to operate two train doors. Due to the short platform length at some stations, this is not possible. As a result, trains will not call at the below stations until further notice:
  • Llanaber - Closest alternative station is Barmouth, which is 2.5 miles away
  • Llanbedr - Closest alternative station is Pensarn, which is 1 mile away
  • Llandanwg - Closest alternative station is Pensarn, which is 1 mile away
  • Tygwyn - Closest alternative station is Talsarnau, which is 1.5 miles away
  • Abererch - Closest alternative station is Penychain, which is 2.5 miles away
  • Gilfach Fargoed - Closest alternative station is Bargoed, which is 1 mile away
  • Conwy - Closest alternative station is Llandudno Junction, which is 1 mile away
  • Llanfairpwll - Closest alternative station is Bangor, which is 4.5 miles away
  • Valley - Closest alternative station is Holyhead, which is 3.5 miles away
  • Hopton Heath - Closest alternative station is Bucknell, which is 3.5 miles away
  • Sugar Loaf - Closest alternative station is Llanwrtyd Wells, which is 3 miles away
  • Earlestown - This station continues to be served by Northern
  • Wrexham Central - Closest alternative station is Wrexham General, which is 0.4 miles away
Where can I find more information?
The latest travel advice from Transport for Wales can be found here.
More information, including a Q&A and refund details, can be found on the NRE Coronavirus page.
For the latest Coronavirus guidance from the NHS in Wales, please click here.
Check before you travel:
You can check your journey up to and including Friday 7 August using the National Rail Enquiries real-time Journey Planner
If you are travelling from Saturday 8 August onwards, please check back nearer the time.
Twitter:
If you would like to follow this incident on Twitter, please use #COVID19UK
Feedback:
We want to make information better – tell us how! Fill out this online Disruption Survey
 
Last edited:

AdamWW

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What exactly do they mean by this, I wonder? " Your travel status will be subject to live and ongoing review, with checks by British Transport Police, TfW Rail Revenue inspectors and Security staff. "

Whatever they mean, couldn't they find a nicer way of saying it?

Whether non-essential travel is now supposed to be grudgingly OK or not, I don't get the impression that I would be welcome on any of their trains.

And they are still saying you might have to wait until "capacity drops" so it doesn't look as if they are actually reading what they are writing.
 

ChrisC

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But hang on. If you can't rely on the last bus of the day, then you need to catch the bus before. But if that's full, you'd need the last bus and you can't rely on that. So you'd better go for the one before the one before the last bus. But if that's full?

The East Yorkshire bus approach seems eminently sensible to me, if you take the view that social distancing is not about protecting the individual, it's about reducing transmission in the UK. So having the last bus more 'dangerous' than the rest isn't being inconsistent - it's adding some risk for a very good cause.

(I think, however, that this isn't the thread for discussing North Yorkshire, though personally, and as the person who started the thread, I don't mind).
Thanks for your reply. Sorry about posting in the wrong thread. I didn’t see the word ‘Wales’ in the heading for this thread. My own fault for trying to read and type this whilst not wearing my glasses!
 
Last edited:

ForTheLoveOf

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Capacity on trains to and from Barry Island is limited and will be strictly enforced. Should overcrowding occur, trains may be delayed whilst capacity limits are restored or cancelled if delays become prohibitive. Evening and late night trains returning from Barry Island will be subject to strict capacity limits. Replacement travel options will not be provided.
The suggestion that you can simply be abandoned and left without alternative transport if TfW can't be bothered to put on enough trains and/or carriages is an "interesting" take on NRCoT 28.2. Not that I'd imagine anyone will take them to task over it...
 

trainophile

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Transport for Wales are operating a reduced timetable, in line with current passenger demand...
from the above quote.

The current passenger demand is only (arguably) reduced because TfW are going out of their way to treat would-be passengers with hostility. They are going to lose any previous loyalty with this ongoing attitude.
 

duncanp

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Looking forward to my non essential trip to Welshpool on Friday, walk along the canal, and lunch at the Green Dragon Inn, Buttington.

Can't help wondering if the police heddlu will board the train at Shrewsbury and start interrogating all those naughty passengers who have the temerity to want to cross the border and perhaps enjoy the nice weather, and thereby support businesses in Wales who are struggling.

As far as I am concerned Transport for Wales can go and hang themselves if they think I am cancelling my trip.
 

Llandudno

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Looking forward to my non essential trip to Welshpool on Friday, walk along the canal, and lunch at the Green Dragon Inn, Buttington.

Can't help wondering if the police heddlu will board the train at Shrewsbury and start interrogating all those naughty passengers who have the temerity to want to cross the border and perhaps enjoy the nice weather, and thereby support businesses in Wales who are struggling.

As far as I am concerned Transport for Wales can go and hang themselves if they think I am cancelling my trip.
Make sure you don’t read a newspaper or have a drink or eat anything on the train west of Shrewsbury!
 

duncanp

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Make sure you don’t read a newspaper or have a drink or eat anything on the train west of Shrewsbury!
Or talk loudly...
Well, the train doesn't cross into Wales until several miles out of Shrewsbury, so I should be all right.

I must say the First Minister of Wales seems to be a dour presbyterian type who is constantly haunted by the fear that someone, somewhere, is actually having some fun and enjoying themself. He seems determined to make the life of people in Wales as miserable as possible with all these petty restrictions.

What difference does it make if someone reads a newspaper for Christ's sake?

I wonder if he was a puritan in a former life?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I wonder if he was a puritan in a former life?
Does that make Boris a Cavalier (seems to describe his actions quite well!).
Actually Nicola Sturgeon seems more like an "I know what's right" presbyterian than Mark Drakeford.
And Arlene Foster quite possibly is one (a presbyterian)...

Gordon Brown was the son of a Church of Scotland minister, of course, which really is presbyterian.
Theresa May's father was a high-church Anglican minister.
 

PHILIPE

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Make sure you don’t read a newspaper or have a drink or eat anything on the train west of Shrewsbury!
That has never been official advice. It is included in a list of possibilities drawn up by the WG as an option available to TFW if they ever want to consider it.
 

AdamWW

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That has never been official advice. It is included in a list of possibilities drawn up by the WG as an option available to TFW if they ever want to consider it.
Well I don't think I've seen them on the TFW Rail web site though several bus companies are insisting on them.

But as for not being official advice..

The guidance for transport operators says: (my bold and underlining)
" The Welsh Government has issued guidance to all those to whom the physical distancing duties apply, and to which they must have regard, which can be found here: taking all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus in workplaces and premises open to the public. Failing to comply with the physical distancing duty is an offence, which on conviction may lead to a fine. "

(This include on board public transport vehicle).

" Each transport provider is recommended to translate the principles and examples in this guidance into specific actions. "

" It is mandatory for operators of public transport to have regard to this guidance in order to depart from the 2 metre requirement while ensuring they minimise exposure to the virus and minimise the risk of transmission "

And then the things we're talking about are listed under:
" Additional mitigations in public transport where 2 metre physical distancing is difficult or not possible Examples of additional mitigations "

So yes they're given as examples, but given the wording in the document I think it's disingenous to suggest they are just something to consider if an operator wants to. They are - at the least - recommended to consider them.

However...something has gone wrong if an operator is insisting on keeping 2 m spacing and implementing all of these because that isn't the point.
 

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