Travel Devon to Warrington Bank Quay

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piccadilly

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I have not been on a train for nearly a year and a bit out of touch with rail travel and Covid restrictions.

I have received excellent advice via this forum in the past.

I live in Devon and unfortunately my 92 year old mother has been taken into hospital, she lives in Warrington but hopefully she will be discharged in the next week or so.

She is not allowed visitors because of the restrictions.

I am certain I am legally able to travel on the basis that when she comes out she will need looking after for a couple of weeks.

My intention is to travel from either Honiton, or Tiverton Parkway, using an Off Peak ticket to Warrington Bank Quay via Birmingham leaving the return date open.

My question is do I have to book a ticket in advance? - or can I buy it on the day? If I buy on the day is there a risk that I might not get on the train due to reduced capacity or passenger spacing?

Unfortunately, I don’t know the hospital discharge date and may have to catch the train at short notice as the hospital may decide the day before.

If I try to anticipate the date and therefore book a ticket in advance then I could be (say) a week too soon.

Any help appreciated!

Kind Regards,
 
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Watershed

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Reservations are recommended, but at current usage levels (15-20% of normal) they are very unlikely to be necessary.

It may be cheaper to book in advance, but if you are just looking for an Off-Peak Return then there is little benefit to booking that far in advance.

You can normally obtain reservations on the day, either via your booking website or via the customer services/Twitter of the TOC concerned.
 

A Challenge

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You should be able to book at the very least on the day before, even if not that day, and get a reservation, and may be able to get a short notice reservation on CrossCountry after the train leaves its origin. Your best bet for on the day reservations is, as @Watershed says, to contact each TOC (presumably XC and Avanti) on Twitter or some other system (such as WhatsApp, Facebook or phone).

The cheapest non-advance ticket is the VIA BRISTOL from Tiverton Parkway, and it is cheaper to go via London than not from Honiton for some reason.
 

Hadders

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A number of things here:

  • You are legally allowed to travel for this purpose
  • You will need to wear a face covering on board the train and while in enclosed station buildings
  • Assuming you are over 60 yourself you should purchase a Senior Railcard if you don't already have one as this will give you a 34% discount and you will recoup the cost of the railcard on this one trip alone. You can purchase the railcard at the station
  • Seat reservations are not compulsory but are strongly recommended
  • I would purchase the ticket a day or so before travel, and obtain seat reservations for your preferred trains at the same time. A station ticket office can sort this for you.

It will be cheaper to purchase a combination of tickets for your journey. For example, a Honiton to Warrington Bank Quay Off Peak Return Not via London costs £154.20 but a Honiton to Bristol Off Peak Return costs £32.70 and a Bristol to Warrington Off Peak Return costs £87.00, total £119.70 - a saving of £34.50. Honiton ticket office can sell you all the tickets and sort the seat reservations, you have to ask for the specific tickets.

It is also worth splitting at Bristol if you travel from Tiverton.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Warrington Hospital is about a 15 minute walk from Bank Quay station, it is actually located close to where the WCML and CLC lines cross west of the town centre.
There are buses via Bank Quay but don't know how they are running during Covid.
A taxi is probably best.

The "via London" fare from Honiton is a bit more time-restricted than the "via Bristol" fare from Tiverton, but may well suit your plans.
Just avoid the morning peak on both routes, and the afternoon peak via London.
The "via Bristol" fare will also let you travel on TfW via Hereford, but probably is slower than via Birmingham with a longish change at Crewe.
 

Watershed

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Warrington Hospital is about a 15 minute walk from Bank Quay station, it is actually located close to where the WCML and CLC lines cross west of the town centre.
There are buses via Bank Quay but don't know how they are running during Covid.
A taxi is probably best.

The "via London" fare from Honiton is a bit more time-restricted than the "via Bristol" fare from Tiverton, but may well suit your plans.
Just avoid the morning peak on both routes, and the afternoon peak via London.
The "via Bristol" fare will also let you travel on TfW via Hereford, but probably is slower than via Birmingham with a longish change at Crewe.
Indeed there's a very nice connection at New Street heading northwards. Southbound the equivalent connection involves changing twice, at Wolverhampton and New Street, and it's a little tighter timewise.
 

alistairlees

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I have not been on a train for nearly a year and a bit out of touch with rail travel and Covid restrictions.

I have received excellent advice via this forum in the past.

I live in Devon and unfortunately my 92 year old mother has been taken into hospital, she lives in Warrington but hopefully she will be discharged in the next week or so.

She is not allowed visitors because of the restrictions.

I am certain I am legally able to travel on the basis that when she comes out she will need looking after for a couple of weeks.

My intention is to travel from either Honiton, or Tiverton Parkway, using an Off Peak ticket to Warrington Bank Quay via Birmingham leaving the return date open.

My question is do I have to book a ticket in advance? - or can I buy it on the day? If I buy on the day is there a risk that I might not get on the train due to reduced capacity or passenger spacing?

Unfortunately, I don’t know the hospital discharge date and may have to catch the train at short notice as the hospital may decide the day before.

If I try to anticipate the date and therefore book a ticket in advance then I could be (say) a week too soon.

Any help appreciated!

Kind Regards,
On the matter of legality of travel for a patient discharged from a hospital, who then needs looking after at home, this is undoubtedly legal. I have in fact just done this myself, for the same reasons, and with the full knowledge of the hospital concerned (my father was discharged from hospital on Monday, after being in for nearly three weeks). I just bought tickets on the day, and got Advance tickets for the ideal train (others were available too), but it would have been equally fine had I booked the night before. My journey was from Kent to Darlington, with the long stretch on LNER.

I think the only thing to bear in mind is that "stay at home" advice ends on Monday 29th March, so trains may get a little busier from then. But I expect you will be fine.
 

30907

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Airedale
There have been issues with getting tickets on Cross Country because they are (?were) operating a compulsory reservation policy, despite the fact that most trains have plenty of seats.
If you go via Bristol and Birmingham you may need to reserve for a train that you don't actually want to use - but your Offpeak ticket is valid on any train within the time restrictions. Less of a problem via London - and as that's the cheaper route....
 

piccadilly

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21 Apr 2017
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Thank you for your helpful comments - the hospital have informed me that they will give me 24 hours notice of discharge so I can book the day before - I presume Honiton ticket office can help me the reservations.
 

Bevan Price

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Warrington Buses operate services 16/16A past the Hospital. Check here for details just before your trip if you decide to use the bus.

Turn left outside Bank Quay station. At the cross roads (with traffic lights), turn right and you should see a bus stop about 50 yards away (on the side of the road furthest from the park.)

Pre-Covid, there were usually several taxis just outside Bank Quay station. Not sure of the current situation.
 

father_jack

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26 Jan 2010
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906
There have been issues with getting tickets on Cross Country because they are (?were) operating a compulsory reservation policy, despite the fact that most trains have plenty of seats.
If you go via Bristol and Birmingham you may need to reserve for a train that you don't actually want to use - but your Offpeak ticket is valid on any train within the time restrictions. Less of a problem via London - and as that's the cheaper route....
I have had not issues getting a reservation on a XC train for months.
 
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