Keeping you safe - latest travel advice

Local lockdown updates

Local lockdown in Aberdeen

On Wednesday 5 August, a local lockdown was announced for the city of Aberdeen.

What does this mean for CrossCountry customers?

If you no longer wish to travel you will be able to change your Advance train ticket using your account online or by getting in touch with our Web Support team on sales.support.crosscountry@trainfares.co.uk.
For most other tickets you should be able to apply for a refund under the usual terms and conditions of that ticket. Our web support team will be able to advise should you have any queries relating to your ticket.

Let's travel safely this summer

Your safety is our number one priority. Here you can find out about what we are doing to keep you safe when you travel with us.

We encourage all our customers to refer to our travel guidelines before travel and to consider others throughout your journey.

 

 

We are pleased to have acquired the ‘Good to Go’ accreditation from Visit Britain. This accreditation means that we’re adhering to Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and have the processes in place to maintain cleanliness on-board and aid social distancing.

Looking for timetable information?

We are running a reduced service and you can find information on our latest timetables here.

If you are planning to make a journey by train:

  1. DO NOT TRAVEL – If you have symptoms of coronavirus. Please refer to the latest NHS guidance on symptoms here before you travel.
  2. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – Please keep your distance from other passengers and our colleagues
  3. WEAR A FACE COVERING – It is mandatory to wear a face covering when passing through a railway station as well as when travelling on our services.* To make your journey safer, £100 fines are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. While some people are exempt, everyone else must do so to protect others. See our FAQs

*Some people may not be able to wear a face covering, for example, those with breathing difficulties and we appreciate that people with disabilities may find it difficult to wear a face covering. The Government have supplied a list of reasons as to when the requirement of wearing a face covering does not apply. This list can be found within the linked FAQs above.

Please follow these guidelines throughout your journey:

 

Travel at quieter times
Book in advance and arrive early
Always use contactless payment
Always keep your distance
Always wear a face covering
Check your train times
If parking at the station leave an empty space between other cars
Before, during and after your journey - keep your hands clean
Stand well clear, allow others to disembark safely

Go CrossCountry safely

Can you travel at quieter times?

Our services have limited capacity, so we are asking all our customers to travel off-peak where possible. For more information on the level of reservations we had last week please see below.

 

Face coverings

It is mandatory to wear a face covering when passing through a railway station and when travelling by train.To make your journey safer, £100 fines are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. While some people are exempt, everyone else must do so to protect others. See our FAQs

Book ahead and stay safe

We have introduced social distancing on–board; this means we’re only able to use approximately one quarter of the seats on our trains. 

To ensure you and others are safe on your journey, we advise that you book in advance and reserve a place on a specific train.  We now only have a limited number of spaces available per train, and when when buying a ticket to travel with CrossCountry, you will not receive a specific seat reservation, but rest assured, you will have a reserved place on your selected train. As you make your way through the booking process, you will see “Reserved – no seat allocated”, which confirms that you have booked a space on your selected train. .

To reduce contact, we are encouraging customers to select an e-Ticket or Smartcard for Season tickets, use contactless payments only, and not to use cash, as this will not be accepted on-board our services.

If you do not book ahead, please leave additional time for your journey and follow signage and instructions from the station and train colleagues.

How to reserve your place

    • Buy your ticket via our website, mobile site or app and make a reservation at the same time as purchasing a ticket. Select an e-Ticket where possible, or Smartcard if you are purchasing a Season ticket.
    • Your reserved space on your chosen CrossCountry train means you can use any available seat in Standard or First Class depending on your choice of ticket.
    • If you have a flexible ticket, such as an Anytime Return, you will need to book a place on your chosen CrossCountry train for your return journey via our Customer Relations team on 03447 369 123 or via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or facebook.com/crosscountrytrains
    • For Season tickets, please reserve a seat via our Customer Relations team on 03447 369 123 or via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or facebook.com/crosscountrytrains
    • Places will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis, and when these are fully taken you will not be able to buy a ticket to travel on that train.
    • Due to reservation system updates, you are unable to book up to 12 weeks in advance. Please visit our dedicated page to view the latest dates available.

Passenger Assist

We are still operating both booked and unbooked Passenger Assistance services for those passengers that require this, although we are encouraging customers to book ahead so we can ensure the correct provision of assistance is provided.

It will really help us to plan and make sure you receive the correct help if you pre book your assistance. When you contact our Passenger Assistance team they may ask you some extra questions so that we can ensure that we balance your needs with the opportunity to respect social distancing requirements, so please allow a little more time to make your booking.

If you have not pre-booked assistance, please allow extra time for your journey and follow signage and instructions from station and train staff.

CrossCountry are supporting the National Rail Industry Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme . Not all disabilities are visible and some won’t be immediately obvious to our colleagues on-board our trains. The Hidden Disability Sunflower, which is usually worn in the form of a lanyard, is a discreet way for us to be aware that support may be required from us throughout a customer’s journey. If you would like to obtain a lanyard, you can get one from most staffed stations or online via the scheme. We appreciate that If you are already part of this scheme, wearing a face covering may not be possible if you need more information referring to this, please follow the guidance provided on Gov UK, which can be found here.

If you have a health condition or disability and would like a discreet way of informing our staff that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please download and print out an assistance card to present to our staff on your journey.

Reservations FAQs

Why have you made this change? +

We have started asking all customers to reserve a place on their preferred train so we can closely monitor the numbers of people travelling and maintain social distancing on board. If you don’t have a reservation, then you may not be able to board your preferred train.

How can I make a reservation?+

You can reserve a seat when making your booking through our website, mobile site or app. Alternatively, if you already have a valid ticket then you can contact our Customer Relations team or Social Media teams who can help.

You can call our Customer Relations on 03447 369 123 or contact our Social Media team via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or Facebook.com/crosscountrytrains

What if I already have a reservation?+

If you have already reserved a seat then your place on that train will still be available, although the seat number will not apply and you should use any free space.

I have a Season ticket. How do I get my reservations?+

If you’re a Season ticket holder, you can reserve a space for your journey with CrossCountry by contacting our Customer Relations team on 03447 369 123 or via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or Facebook.com/crosscountrytrains, or from any staffed station.

I’m travelling with my family. Do we have to reserve individual seats or can we travel together?+

You should still try to reserve places, as on busier trains we could need to restrict travel if too many people attempt to board. However, if you are travelling as a family group then you may sit together on-board if you wish.

Can I still book a place for my wheelchair?+

Special care has been taken to ensure we are able to help those who may require support for their journeys. Please contact our Passenger Assist service as normal and they will be happy to help with the arrangements and any support you would like on your journey

How are you keeping me safe, when using passenger assist?+

Special care has been taken to ensure we are able to help those who may require support for their journeys.

We’ll wear a face mask and keep the recommended distance away if we can. When we need to be closer we will make sure we spend as little time as possible near you.

We'll make sure we wash our hands or use hand sanitiser both before and after assisting you.

What if I need assistance with my luggage, can you help?+

Special care has been taken to ensure we are able to help those who may require support for their journeys, for those using passenger assist, we will still be able to help with your luggage.

We'll be wearing a face mask, and ensure our hands are washed and santised before and after handling your luggage, we will ask you to step away from your luggage before we approach.

I wish to know more about the differences of the Passenger Assist service before I travel.+

No problem, please contact our Passenger Assist team as normal and they will be happy to answer any further queries you may have. You can call the team on 0800 030 9224 or Textphone using 0800 030 9230

At the station

Please note that CrossCountry do not manage any stations, so for advice and travel guidance for the station you intend to visit, please search for your station here.

Arrive early - Give yourself plenty of time at the station before your train arrives, as there may be directional signage set up at stations for you to follow to get to the right platform safely. There may also be queuing systems in place at some stations.

Please keep your distance when parking - Please note, we do not manage any station car parks. However, our advice is try to park at a distance from other cars where possible. This allows everyone to social distance from the moment they get out of their car.

Face coverings – It is mandatory to wear a face covering when passing through a railway station as well as when travelling by train. Face coverings can be removed only whilst food & drink is being consumed. To make your journey safer, £100 fines are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. While some people are exempt, everyone else must do so to protect others. See our FAQs

Social distancing - When walking through the station please respect other people around you. Always maintaining social distancing measures, including when using escalators, lifts and seating at stations.

Hand sanitiser – Hand sanitisers are not currently available on-board our trains, although we are working hard to improve this. Please always carry hand sanitiser to use before and after your journey to stations. We also ask that you wash your hands both before and after travelling with us. To find out more about availability of hand sanitisers please visit the station information page here.

Respectful behaviour - Please respect station colleagues, who are there to help and guide you through your onward journey.

Station colleagues - Please remember our teams in our stations and on our trains are not responsible for the enforcement of social distancing. So please work with us, be mindful of your fellow passengers, and take sensible steps to keep a safe distance. In line with Government guidance, we also ask that you wear a face covering.

On the train

Buy your ticket in advance - To help us maintain social distancing on-board our services, please book before you travel. We are not currently selling tickets on-board our trains.

Full services – If there is no available space on the train when it arrives, you must disembark and wait for the next service to arrive. If this is the last service of the day, please contact us and we will be able to arrange alternative transport.

Follow the signage - We are rolling out signage on all of our trains to remind you and fellow passengers to 'stay safe and stay apart', throughout your journey.

Social distancing - Please keep your distance from our railway colleagues and other customers; if you have an allocated seat, please use it. If you don’t have an allocated seat, please sit in any available seat.

Face coverings - It is mandatory to wear a face covering on-board our trains at all times. To make your journey safer, £100 fines are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. While some people are exempt, everyone else must do so to protect others. See our FAQs

Catering - Catering is now available on-board our services. To keep our customers and colleagues safe, catering will be provided from a static location at one end of the train. On-board colleagues will make regular announcements to let customers know when and where to find our catering trolley.

Customers are welcome to bring their own food on-board for their journey and face coverings can be removed only whilst food & drink is being consumed. If you are travelling with us in Wales, please note that under current guidelines the consumption of food and drink is banned on-board.

Health and hygiene - Always carry hand sanitiser, ensure you wash your hands before and after your journey and do not touch your face throughout your journey. We are only accepting contactless payments on-board for the safety of both our customers and colleagues.

Hand sanitiser – Hand sanitisers can be purchased from our catering trolley, where available, but we advise customers to always carry hand sanitiser to use before and after your journey to stations. To find out more about the availability of hand sanitisers at stations, please visit the station information page here.

Boarding the train - Stand well clear of the doors and allow others to leave the train with a safe distance before you board. We have added additional dwell time where possible at certain stations to give you and other customers enough time to board safely.

Avoid peak times - Please consider using our services at a quieter time of day if it is possible for you to do so, our busiest times of day are usually before 9am and between 5pm and 7pm.

Clean trains - We have enhanced our cleaning regimes, especially focussing on the main touchpoints such as door button and hand rails. We have also increased the frequency of deep cleans. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you feel the service you are on was not up to standard. You can find the best means of contacting us here.

What we're doing

Following the latest Government guidance - We continue to follow the latest Government guidelines to ensure we take the appropriate actions to keep you safe.

Reducing contact when handling payments - We are encouraging our customers to use contactless payments only and where possible purchase an e-Ticket or use a Smart card for Season tickets.

Please check payment options at the station you are visiting, please visit the station information page here.

Promoting good personal hygiene - Please carry and use hand sanitiser with you during your journey, not all stations have been equipped with hand sanitiser, but where you see these available please ensure you are using it.

Enhanced cleaning - We have reviewed the work of our train maintenance and cleaning contractors to ensure all trains go through a deep clean process at the end of each day, with regular cleaning throughout service.

Our team are here to help - We have increased our teams to help keep our trains clean during the day.

We have introduced more frequent walk-throughs to clean surfaces on a more regular basis and have ensured our team are fully aware of the importance of maintaining good hygiene themselves.

On board guidance to make your journey as comfortable as possible - We have developed on board labels, to remind all customers to 'stay safe and, stay apart'.

Social distancing - Please keep your distance from our colleagues and other customers, if you have an allocated seat, please use it. If you don’t have an allocated seat, please sit in any available seat. If there is no space available, disembark and wait for the next service.

Reserving a place - We advise all our customers to book before you travel and reserve a place on the train to help us maintain social distancing on-board.

 

 

 

 

General FAQs

Need to change your travel plans? +

To give our customers peace of mind about amending their journey while this situation continues, we have relaxed our refund policy to make travel easier for you. Due to high volumes refunds can take up to 56 days longer to process and our Web Support team are unable to answer calls at this time so please refer to the following guidance.

Wish to travel on a different day?+

If you wish to change your ticket we would ask you to self-serve using your online account. If for any reason you are unable to do this please contact us at sales.support.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk or seasons.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk using the subject line in your e-mail “Change my journey” with the details of when you would like to travel.

Applying for a refund+

For all tickets purchased with CrossCountry using our website, mobile site or app we would ask you to apply for a refund using your online account.
If for any reason you are unable to self-serve please e-mail our Web Support team on sales.support.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk or seasons.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk for Season tickets.

Please note, refunds can take up to 5 working days to process once received by our team.

For tickets purchased from our website, mobile site or app (with the exception of Season tickets), we are waiving the usual £10 charge and all refunds are now processed free of charge. From Wednesday 26 August the usual £10 charge will be reinstated to all refunds. Advance train tickets bought before 07:00 on Monday 23 March are eligible for a refund providing they have not been used. Advance train tickets purchased after 07:00 on the 23rd March for travel on the reduced timetable will not be eligible for a refund but normal National Rail Conditions of Travel still apply for any disruption. The normal 28 day application window to apply for a refund, is extended to 56 days after expiry. Please note that from Wednesday 26 August this will return to the normal 28 day application window.

Season Tickets can be refunded at any time but there must be at least seven days remaining on a monthly or longer Season ticket (excluding annual), or at least three days remaining on a weekly Season ticket to obtain a refund. Annual Season ticket refunds are calculated on how much the difference between the amount you paid and the charge for the time the Season ticket was held. Refunds are not pro-rata as the unit cost of a Season ticket decreases as the period of validity increases. Annual Season tickets have little to no refund value if they have been used for more than 10 months, 12 days. This refund can be backdated up to 56 days from when it is submitted to the last date it was used (or to the 17 March 2020, whichever is later) if you were unable to travel due to the government’s guidance about only travelling if your journey was essential during the pandemic. If you were unable to travel due to illness immediately before the government’s guidance was given in March, you can apply for this to be backdated further with evidence of the period you were ill. Please note that from Wednesday 26 August this will return to the normal 28 day application window.

For more information and to see how much you could get back from your Season Ticket, visit the National Rail website and use the Season Ticket Refund Calculator.

If you have a paper ticket and wish to make a refund please contact our Web Support team on the above e-mail addresses only and they will provide directions on how to process. This will include a photograph of your paper ticket cut diagonally in half.

I have a National Rail Travel Voucher that has expired since 17 March 2020, am I still going to be able to use it? +

Any Rail Travel Voucher that has an expiry date between 17 March 2020 and 16 September 2020, may be accepted for a maximum of 6 months after the original expiry date e.g. an Rail Travel Voucher that expires on 10 June 2020, may continue to be accepted up to and including 9 December 2020.

I am a Railcard holder, will I receive a refund or an extension, to reflect the period I was unable to travel? +

At this time, the extension or refund process of existing Railcards is currently under review and guidance will be published in due course.

For all other queries+

If you have any other queries that do not relate to an existing booking our Customer Relations team are here to help. To achieve social distancing, and with the challenges of Coronavirus, our Customer Relations telephone lines are now open Monday - Friday 08:00 – 17:00. Passenger Assistance telephone lines will be open Monday - Friday 08:00 - 17:00.

Please remember, you can also use our online contact forms to get in touch at any time - for Customer Relations please use the form here and for Passenger Assistance please use the form here.

 

Face covering FAQs

 

What constitutes a face covering? +

The Government’s instructions state that a face covering is a cloth that should “cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.”

Where does this apply – just on trains or in stations too?+

We want people to wear face coverings from when they enter a station all the way through their journey, including exiting the station at the other end. If people are then moving onto the bus, tram or tube, they should avoid taking off their face covering while they interchange to avoid touching their face or mouth unnecessarily.

Can I take my face covering off when I cross the border into Scotland or Wales?+

People should wear face coverings on our trains, wherever they are. This is mandatory in England and Scotland, and will be mandatory in Wales from 27 July.

For more information, and to ensure you are adhering to the guidelines if you are travelling across the border, please see the current government guidance for England, Scotland and Wales.

 

What do I do with my face covering when I am finished with it? +

We encourage passengers to use reusable face coverings where possible as these are better for the environment. If you have a disposable face covering then please take it home to dispose of it or put it in the normal bins available on stations at the end of your journey.

What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering? +

We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Please also be aware that some passengers may not be able to wear as mask due to medical issues. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, people should keep their distance – at least two metres, if possible.

What about a long-distance service where people are on the train for hours, will this apply there? +

Yes. For example, the wearing of face coverings is already mandatory on Eurostar trains.

Do children require face coverings? +

Children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.

Are you doing this just to reduce the need for social distancing? +

No. We are doing this to further reduce the risk of infection. Used properly, face coverings can help prevent the spread of the disease. Social distancing and good hand hygiene are still very important.

What if I can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or due to a disability? +

You can still use public transport. We want people to be able to travel with dignity and our staff will act considerately towards those who cannot wear a mask due to their disability.

The requirement to wear a face covering also does not apply if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:

    • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering.
    • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress.
    • if you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
    • if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
    • if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
    • if you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
    • if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard

Our colleagues are also aware of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme, and will be able to offer assistance when required. For more information on being exempt from wearing a face covering, please visit the Gov UK website here

What do rail staff do to make sure people wear face coverings on trains? +

Rail staff engage and educate customers about the mandatory use of face coverings when they travel by train and encourage people to wear them. The vast majority of people do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Unless they have a good reason, those that don’t wear a face covering could receive a £100 fine from the British Transport Police.

Why are people allowed on my train without face coverings?+

Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not always be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers. Anyone that isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering can get a £100 fine from the British Transport Police.

 

 

 

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More information on COVID-19

You can find more information on Coronavirus/COVID-19 and methods to prevent the virus spreading, together with answers to many questions you may have, using the following links:

 

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