The Christmas-bubble window should be extended to include ‘travel days’ to prevent chaos on the roads and railways, a campaign group has urged.
The Campaign for Better Transport group has warned the current guidance, which says people have to do all their travelling within the five days from December 23 to 27, punishes those making longer journeys to see loved ones.
The group called for the two extra travel days people travelling to Northern Ireland are allowed on December 22 and 28 to be extended to those also travelling long distances across Britain.
The call comes as passenger groups have been warning the narrow Christmas bubble window could cause chaos as millions travel en masse to see family for the five days ion which three households are able to mix.
December 27 has been highlighted as a particular potential bottleneck, as train passengers have one day to travel home due to there being no services on Christmas Day and hardly any on Boxing Day.
There is also set to be further disruption on December 27 as traditional engineering works begin on Christmas Day that will see King’s Cross station closed and services limited from Waterloo until the new year.
Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport said: “People want to be able to see their friends and families at Christmas and we want them to be able to do so safely by public transport.
“Currently, people will have to curtail their Christmas plans in order to get back before the window closes on December 27, especially those travelling long distances or on routes with engineering works. That’s why we need a wider travel window to allow people to make journeys safely and to avoid overcrowding on the public transport network.
“Without adequate measures in place so that everyone who wants to travel by public transport can do so safely, we will see travel chaos and yet more cars on our already congested roads.”