Passengers to be refunded for cancelled Christmas train and coach tickets

PASSENGERS who have had to cancel Christmas train and coach journeys will get a full refund, the Government has said.

It comes days after Boris Johnson banned those in Tier 4 areas from travelling to see family and friends this week, affecting 18million Brits.

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The Government will provide cash refunds for journeys booked to other UK cities between the previous Christmas travel window between December 23 and 27.

Only passengers who booked train or coach tickets after the travel window was announced on November 24 will be able to get their money back.

Tickets booked after the Prime Minister's address to the nation on Saturday, where he plunged London and much of the south east of England into Tier 4, will not be eligible for a refund.

It's hoped that the last minute travel ban and addition of a stricter Tier will help save lives as a new mutant strain of coronavirus which is 70% more contagious sweeps through the south of England.

How to claim a refund on train or coach tickets

SINCE the coronavirus outbreak, train firms have committed to making refunds a completely remote and virtual process.

This means they can only be done online, although different operators have different systems.

For example, Great Northern has an online form and asks customers to take an image of their ticket cut into two halves.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, says you should check the website of the company that sold your tickets for full details of the best way to get a refund.

To get your money back for a cancelled coach ticket, you'll need to visit the operator's website to find out how to do it.

Customers will need to make a claim from their travel operator in order to get their money back.

You will be able to find details of how to do this by visiting the operator's website, such as South Eastern trains or National Express.

Travel firms will be able to offer refunds immediately with the Government reimbursing them for the loss.

But passengers have been warned to be patient as rail and coach operators will be processing high volumes of refunds over the coming weeks.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "It is imperative that we all follow the new measures and play our part in tackling this virus, protecting others and safeguarding our NHS.  

"If you booked a coach or rail journey between December 23 and 27, you are entitled to a cash refund.

"This ensures no one is left out of pocket for doing the right thing – staying home in Tier 4, and elsewhere staying local and only meeting your Christmas bubble on Christmas day."

Life has essentially returned to what is was like under the full lockdown for areas that have been put into Tier 4.

It began on December 20 and be reviewed on December 30.

The PM's key message for those in these regions was to stay at home unless it's for essential reasons.

Anyone who breaks the rules below could be hit with a £200 fine in the first instance. That doubles for further offences, up to a maximum of £6,400.

For the rest of the UK, the five day Christmas bubble period has been slashed to just 24 hours and everyone is being encouraged to stay local.

Wales has also gone into lockdown inline with Tier 4 in England and people can only "bubble" for Christmas day.

Scotland has banned travel from the rest of the UK to stop the new strain spreading and will go into the toughest lockdown measures on Boxing Day.

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