Christmas travellers heading to Gatwick and Heathrow by train have been warned to expect journey times to double as festive works cripple the rail network.
Airport rail services that will be impacted
- Heathrow Express/Connect – Both services will be shut from the evening of December 23 till December 29
- Gatwick Express – December 23 and 27-29, the service between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport will be reduced to run every 30 minutes only. No services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
There will be no rail services on Christmas day
What other services will be impacted?
11 days of rail works will take place over the Christmas period, resulting in five out of the seven main rail routes being closed.
- London Paddington – Closed from the evening of December 23 till December 28
- Great Western Railway – Services will be cut, with trains starting from London Marylebone or Slough
- Virgin West Coast – There will be no service from Preston to Lancaster from December 24 till December 27
- Southeastern – There will be no trains from London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo East or Cannon Street from December 23 till January 1
- South Western Railway – All routes closed, diversions between Southampton Central and Eastleigh from December 24 to January 1 and diversions to Fareham from December 30 to December 31
- Thameslink – Cross-London north-south route closed from December 23 to January 1
Ticket prices to soar
Alongside travel disruptions, tickets prices are predicted to rocket over the festive period.
TheTrainline.com has forecast that the cheapest rail fares for Saturday December 23 will rise sharply over the next six weeks.
Advance singles from Liverpool to London could rise from just £17 to £33 by the start of December.
For those waiting to purchase a ticket on their day of travel, the price will jump to £82.90.
Other routes set to see a sharp increase are:
- Leeds to London – From £22 to £36
- London to Edinburgh – From £68 to £81
- Peterborough to London – From £11 to £19
Don’t risk missing your flight
With the unreliability and closure of Britain’s rail services, getting to the UK’s major airports over the Christmas period can be an unpredictable and chaotic experience.
The best way to ensure you don’t miss your flight is to drive yourself to the airport – make sure you book your airport parking in advance to receive huge discounts and guarantee yourself a space.
You could even book a hotel and parking package to make sure you don’t get stuck on the motorway on the morning of your flight. By booking a parking package with APH, you’ll assure that you’ll wake up just minutes from the airport, giving you peace of mind that you won’t miss your flight.