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Cotswold Eagle

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Everything posted by Cotswold Eagle

  1. Nothing to add, JB, other than to say Oyster Card cannot be used on National Express into London. They do sell Visitor Oyster Cards at their offices at London airports, but that’s for use once in central London, so you don’t have to worry about buying one after getting off the National Express bus and wanting to jump on a local bus or the tube etc. Oh, and pure speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if universal free admission to national museums came under pressure in the new normal, but as things stand you are correct about the British Museum - free entry except for some special exhibitions.
  2. National Express is currently running no services. They are reintroducing a limited timetable from 1st July and it appears that is loaded in their system until Sunday 23 May 2021. Given the huge reduction of passenger traffic through Heathrow (which I think is about 96% down) it’s not surprising they are planning to run fewer direct services from there, hence the need to change in London on the new timetable. . I would be very surprised if that does not change, but it would be nothing more than idle speculation to suggest how it might change!
  3. Just to update this thread, these measures will come into effect from 8 June. They will be reviewed every three weeks. They do not apply to arrivals from the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (the common travel area). There is a long list of exemptions, but none of any real relevance to the subject matter of this board. France has announced reciprocal measures on arrivals from the U.K. from the same date.
  4. You are quite right, of course. The trouble for small companies relying on cash flow is that if they don’t have the cash to refund everyone, they will be forced to wind up the company - in which case the refunds are unlikely to be paid anyway and there will be no company for customers to be loyal to in the future. Very difficult times.
  5. No. 10 has rowed back from the France exemption today - apparently Johnson said “at this stage”, meaning current circumstances (obviously, because that’s the case for everyone) and not meaning in the plan at this stage.... Why he bothered to mention France at all, then, has not been clarified 🤣
  6. Not quite. There are two measures announced in the UK government’s plan: - international arrivals required to provide contact and accommodation details - to self-isolate for 14 days, at their accommodation or in government provided accommodation. However, neither measure is included in the 13th May package and there is no date for implementation other than ‘as soon as possible’. There is no indication of how long they would last, if they are implemented.
  7. Although that measure has been floated in newspapers in recent days and by the Home Secretary in her appearance at committee, it has not been announced. The government spin machine is clearly testing how it would play. The sequence generally is: - headline says ‘quarantine to be introduced’ - article purports that such measures have been agreed in principle, citing ‘sources’ - Government spokesperson says ‘everything is being considered’
  8. Contrary to what is stated above, there are currently no restrictions (above the usual entry requirements) on the U.K. border. The problem arises of what happens after entry, when to be away from the place you are living is an offence without a reasonable excuse under the health regulations. In the event of finding accommodation (most hotels are closed other than for key workers), you could basically only leave to exercise, seek medical assistance or to buy essential supplies. Attractions, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops are closed. Sightseeing is not a reasonable excuse. There is simply no way to be a tourist in the U.K. at present.
  9. That would have been the weekend of Uitmarkt, a large cultural festival. I presume it is now cancelled so prices may change. I’d be very sceptical of any cruises leaving when events are cancelled.
  10. Yes, announced earlier today - https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/live-service-updates They had severely reduced their services and lack of passengers makes it no longer viable. No target date for resumption. Rebooking and refunds information below. Latest service updates In line with Government advice on COVID-19, we have been running a reduced network for essential travel only. However, as more people rightly stay at home, we have decided to temporarily suspend all services from 23:59 on Sunday 5 April. For those of you that have an upcoming journey with us before 31 May, if you would like to amend your booking, you can do so for free, for travel any time in the next 12 months. There is no need to contact us straight away, just complete our ticket amendment form before your original outward journey and get back in touch with us when you’re ready to travel again. If you do not wish to amend your ticket to another date, we will fully refund you. If you haven’t already done so, please complete our refund form and we will process your refund within 28 days.
  11. Not clear exactly which hotel is meant here. There are at least three Premier Inns in Southwark: - Southwark Tate Modern in Great Suffolk Street - Southwark Bankside (also referred to as Borough Market) in Park Street - Southwark Borough High Street in, er, Borough High Street There’s a new one, Southwark (Southwark Station) in The Cut, which I’m not sure opened before everything closed. What there isn’t is one called Southwark - Waterloo, although the one in The Cut would be closest.
  12. Maybe the ‘no trains on Sunday’ thing comes from a misunderstanding arising from the fact that there are no direct services from Gatwick Airport on a Sunday, which is sometimes mentioned on this board? As JB says, certainly not true from central London.
  13. That’s some pretty nifty work by Loganair (been planning for this day for a while, I expect!). Full list here, includes Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow to Southampton, with various dates up to June for services to start: https://www.loganair.co.uk/our-story/latest-news/2020/loganair-steps-in-to-safeguard-uk-air-routes-after-flybe-collapse
  14. FlyBe has finally gone under. It was placed into administration in the early hours this morning, once all its planes were on the ground in the UK. Terrible news for all their staff and worrying times for those with bookings. It must also place the viability of some regional airports in doubt, such as Southampton and Belfast, where FlyBe operated most of the flights.
  15. Some pretty mixed advice here! OP, your journey to Southampton will be in off-peak hours. The most you will pay for that direct service is the £17 off-peak single, which you can buy in advance or on the day. The cheap fares referred to are ‘Advance’ tickets, valid for a particular train time only. Southern, the train operator for the direct service, sells them for weekdays at 12 weeks out (currently to Friday 22 May - they will load weekly). The cheapest will be £5. The £37 fare referred to is for a route via London (changing at Clapham Junction), not the hourly direct service.
  16. A sound strategy 😀 The fact that they are offering Advance tickets indicates a high confidence by the train operating company that the service will run as they plan that day. I would suggest that you check back via the National Rail site once that date appears on their system, which will indicate that the timetable has been agreed (in the next month or so, probably). You should be notified of any changes once you have booked tickets, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive. Sundays are the most vulnerable days for disruption, through engineering work and staffing problems - theres a historical quirk that Sunday is not a rostered day on the railway, so services rely on voluntary overtime that can be withdrawn during labour disputes. There is also a regular timetable update across the network in May and it looks as if publishing that nationally is on a tight timescale again.
  17. There is Advance availability in the afternoon on 5 April. Avanti West’s current Advance ticket horizon for weekends is 2/3 May. They are clearly offering tickets within that period via the national system. Sunday 3rd May there is engineering work at Euston so that will explain the lack for that day and I believe the next couple of weeks. After which availability picks up via their own website, which allows booking further out. For example, Sunday 14 June, in contrast to you statement: There are rational explanations for all this and I don’t think sweeping, and sometimes inaccurate, statements are particularly helpful to our guests. Clearly you hate the system and don’t use it very much. That’s not to say it isn’t very useful in saving money for many passengers.
  18. There's Advance availability currently beyond that on the EUS-HHD route - e.g Sunday 26 April shows on National Rail, Sunday 12 July on Avanti's website. OP - if the tickets you want are available for an Advance price, book them now (assuming you decide to take the train!) They will not go down in price and may well sell out (or there may only be one or two left, when you want three).
  19. I’m not Scottbee, but I can tell you that the Underground route will only take around 10 to 15 minutes longer to St James’s Park (that’s actual travel time, waiting for either a HEX train or the tube can be the determining factor). It does feel a lot longer with all the stops before you get into central London, in my opinion! An Oyster Card is simply a way of storing money to pay for tube journeys, or you can use a contactless debit/credit card. Either way, you are charged per journey (irrespective of changes) and a daily cap applies. By far the easiest for you, in my opinion - you are only charged for the use you make of the transport system.
  20. I’m afraid not. Yotel is a trademark, a portmanteau of YO! (as in YO! Sushi, part of the same group) and hotel.
  21. Those are ‘capsule hotels’. Yotel have ‘cabins’, similar to hub by Premier Inn, never capsules, as far as I am aware.
  22. Very important distinction, it’s not a Premier Inn it’s a ‘ hub by Premier Inn’. These are more like Yotels, with what are described by the chain as ‘compact’ rooms, but perhaps ‘cabin’ gives a more accurate description. I assume the OP is aware of this, it is very clearly described on the website. Could be a squeeze with 2 pax and three big items of luggage...
  23. By customs, I assume you mean immigration control - customs at LHR for the overwhelming majority of passengers is a simple walk through the channel, so takes no time at all. Immigration control is an unknowable delay in advance, but if you are able to use the eGates significant delays are rare. You will probably be waiting for your baggage as the determining factor on how long it takes to get landside. But if you are catching the train, it is of no consequence. Heathrow Express Advance Purchase tickets are valid at any time on the day you specify. (This is not true of Advance tickets on other train operators, which are for specific services). From a cost point of view, no difference between the app and the website. If you buy through the website you will get a pdf that you can print off and use as a ticket (assuming you just buy the Heathrow Express ticket) and scan at the gates to the platforms. You may prefer to have something tangible to hand. Do ensure that you specify the right direction - Heathrow to Paddington - when you buy the ticket. This didn’t matter in the past, when HEX tickets were valid either way, but it does now.
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