Source: Labour Party UK
Labour has called on the Government to suspend peak fares and provide mass coronavirus testing for transport workers over Christmas to help avoid ‘travel chaos and to keep families safe during the festive period.’
Last week, the Government announced travel restrictions will be lifted from 23 to 27 December to allow people to spend time with family over Christmas. In previous years, over two million people travelled by rail between Christmas and New Year, with millions more travelling by car each day.
Ahead of the lifting of restrictions, Jim McMahon, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, has warned that “the virus still poses an extreme risk.”
Labour is demanding the Transport Secretary comes to Parliament on Monday with “a comprehensive travel plan to ensure families travelling across the country are kept safe and chaos on our roads and rail network is avoided.”
Labour is calling on the Government to suspend peak fares over the five days to minimise the risk of overcrowding on trains either side of peak hours, as part of a wider plan to include:
– Mass coronavirus testing of transport workers, including train staff, bus drivers and highway personnel.
– Delaying the planned engineering works on the East Coast Mainline from 27 December to allow people travelling to return home.
– Instructing Highways England to postpone non-essential road maintenance to help reduce congestion and travel delays.
Jim McMahon, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:
“Families will be looking forward to travelling to see one other this Christmas after a really tough year. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. The virus still poses a very serious risk to people’s health.
“That’s why ministers need to come to Parliament on Monday with a comprehensive travel plan to ensure families travelling across the country are kept safe and chaos on our roads and rail network is avoided.
“The Government needs to deliver mass testing for transport workers and suspend peak fares over Christmas to minimise the risk of overcrowded trains that could spread the virus.
“This is too important for the Government to ignore or leave until to the last minute. This is about protecting lives and livelihoods.”