SCOTRAIL has revealed that a fifty percent discount on Scottish Train tickets would benefit students commuting home over Christmas.
To limit the risk of transmission and offer reassurance to those traveling home to their families and loved ones, a mass testing program for students preparing to travel home over the holidays is currently underway.
Until Dec. 24, for ScotRail trips, students will only have to pay half the amount.
The train operator, owned by the Dutch company Abellio, hopes that the move will benefit students who are concerned about getting home to their families because of the coronavirus under current travel restrictions.
Before they can fly, students must first show a negative Covid 19 exam. Due to testing dates and the wait time for outcomes, this may make it difficult to book some train services.
For all Scottish university students, here’s a little Christmas treat. Go home with 50 percent off an off-peak return fare for Christmas. No need to pre-book your fare either. https://t.co/DVyuTAa3Nss
– December 2, 2020, ScotRail (@ScotRail).
However, ScotRail does offer a flexible open-return ticket that is valid for one month after purchase, so after another negative coronavirus test in January, most students will return to their studies with minimal hassle.
All a student has to do is introduce themselves to loved ones at a staffed ticket counter with their ID, board and head home.
Until Dec. 24, students can buy discounted tickets, which will mean they will have to take advantage of the return portion until Jan. 23.
“Students are going through a tough time right now trying to keep up with their research while worrying about catching the corona virus and balancing their finances,” said Lesley Kane, ScotRail Commercial Director.
We think the best gift we can give them before Christmas is this half-price ticket deal, and we’re sure it will be really popular with students who want to come home to see their loved ones at this special time of year for families.
“We are confident that ScotRail will be able to safely transport all passengers over the holidays if they follow the five rules for safe travel, including wearing face coverings and keeping a physical distance.”
Currently, the Scottish government is partnering with universities around the nation and the research program of the UK government to provide free lateral flow tests that can provide results within 30 minutes.
Over the five-day Christmas weekend, however, a “surge” in travel is anticipated as families form their festive bubbles with loved ones.
And there are worries that the temporary relaxation of the restrictions on coronavirus, which allows three households to meet in a bubble from 23-27 December, would mean that trains, roads and buses will be more crowded because many people want to spend Christmas with family and friends.
In order to meet demand in the run-up to Christmas, bus operator National Express said it is growing its services.
In the meantime, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it expects passengers to “increase” over the five-day period.
General Secretary Mick Cash said, “The RMT supports the railroads in their role to ensure people can see their loved ones this Christmas and I will be seeking urgent discussions with all rail companies and the government to ensure this is carefully and properly planned to protect the safety of both workers and passengers.”
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), a body of the rail industry, said, however, that there was “no concern” about overcrowding on train carriages as thousands of trains are expected to run daily to cope with more passengers.
And the AA said it was not “overly concerned” about road congestion, indicating that several families had cancelled plans to spend Christmas together.
Two-fifths of motorists who had already cancelled their Christmas travel plans may have been careful not to risk their loved ones, or maybe secretly happy to avoid visiting the in-laws,”Two-fifths of motorists who had already cancelled their Christmas travel plans may have been careful not to endanger their loved ones – or perhaps secretly happy to avoid visiting the in-laws.”