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Coronavirus - Train journeys?

(36 Posts)
RosieLancs Mon 18-May-20 08:32:29

Does anyone know or have a link to the rules for train travel at the moment?
Everything I've come across is a bit vague.

For context and to hopefully avoid drip feeding - I don't drive, I have a friend approximately a 45 minute train journey away who has quite bad mental health problems and is really suffering at the moment, I've tried getting them extra support from a distance but we've exhausted every option.
They can't travel to me because of their extreme anxiety but they would really benefit from someone dragging them out for a proper walk in the countryside (they live in a small town bordering the place we would walk so no additional travel once we got there).

Am I allowed to get the train to see and help them?
It is a direct journey of about 45 minutes starting at a usually fairly busy station and ending at a barely used station.
I would be bringing my 10 year old twins but we have face masks and hand sanitizer and they are sensible enough to not touch anything they shouldn't on the train.

I realise there's a risk in it but I feel it is less than I encounter at the supermarket.
I can't quite figure out whether it is actually allowed or not.

OP’s posts: |
zscaler Mon 18-May-20 08:36:19

That’s a tricky one - I suspect it wouldn’t strictly be allowed, because it would likely not be classed as an essential journey (even though I completely understand why it feels essential to you) and people have been advised to avoid public transport so as to minimise the risk to those who need it to travel to essential jobs.

Do you have any friends who would be willing to drive you, or who live closer to your friend and could go for a walk with her instead?

lljkk Mon 18-May-20 08:42:07

The trains are utterly empty here and cleaned thoroughly daily so around here it would be very safe to do. And that's without any hand sanitizer. Within the rules - probably not even if you travelled by yourself (certainly not with the kids). I doubt anyone would challenge you, though.

RosieLancs Mon 18-May-20 08:43:20

No, there is nobody else and no other options.
It would be out of rush hour and on a Saturday.

I don't really feel that I can ask someone to drive me and the kids (nowhere to leave them) 45 minutes each way and wait several hours for us.
My ex who really wants to get back together probably would but I'm definitely not going down that route 😄

OP’s posts: |
cariadlet Mon 18-May-20 08:45:00

The rules have always allowed you to leave the house if you needed to care for someone and I think that could be interpreted to include mental health support. If you were on your own then it would be fine.

But I don't think that you should take the dc with you. Could they stay at home with their dad? If he's working then could you change your plans so that you go on a day when he's at home?

goose1964 Mon 18-May-20 08:46:23

You're going to provide care so it will be allowed. We've something similar planned if anything happens with my elderly in laws. Neither of them could cope on their own.

cariadlet Mon 18-May-20 08:46:38

crossposted so didn't see the update about your ex. Have they had any contact with him during lockdown? If so then makes sense for you to see your friend while they are with him. If not, that makes things really tricky.

VanCleefArpels Mon 18-May-20 08:46:47

If you went alone it’s fine because we are allowed to meet one person from outside our household in the open air. The concept of “essential journey” has been dropped. However taking your children makes it a “gathering” of 4 people therefore not within the rules.

RosieLancs Mon 18-May-20 08:49:38

@cariadlet I was being flippant about my ex, he isn't the twins' father and they have no contact with their father (long DV story I won't bore everyone with on this thread!)

OP’s posts: |
Spam88 Mon 18-May-20 08:50:16

Falls under care in my eyes. Taking your daughter is fine because what else can you do with her 🤷‍♀️

Assuming you're in England, you can presumably just get the train to go for a walk these days so crack on.

middleager Mon 18-May-20 08:54:25

I have considered driving 1.5 hours to see my mother outside at the top of her drive. But what stops me is the lack of toilet facilities for my family.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I'm in my late 40s and after 2 kids my bladder dictates!
Have you factored this in?
Are loos open on trains? Where would you all go (the woods if desperate?).

HugeAckmansWife Mon 18-May-20 08:54:26

I would do it because it seems to be needed but you are breaking the 'one person' rule if you take your kids as your friend is then meeting 3 people. Personally, I think it's a pointless rule and would ignore it but you should be aware in case you're challenged on the walk. On the journey, if challenged, I'd say they were going to their dad's and explain to the kids in advance why the lie is necessary.

Alsohuman Mon 18-May-20 08:55:15

I’d do it in a heartbeat. As a pp says, trains are empty now and presumably you’ll time your journey so it’s outside the busiest times.

cariadlet Mon 18-May-20 08:55:33

@RosieLancs Sorry about the DV. Obviously they can't stay with their dad.

In that case you've no choice. Your friend needs the support and I expect the twins would like to get out of the house. It might be worth phoning the starting train station if it's busy, just to see if staff have any idea about what times are likely to be a bit quieter (to help you maintain social distancing). If you can get hold of disposable gloves they would be useful (separate pairs for outgoing and return journeys).

AJPTaylor Mon 18-May-20 09:01:42

I think just do it. Beg forgiveness rather than ask permission? The trains here are down to one an hour in each direction and are empty. You would prob have a carriage to yourself.

bloodylongdrive Mon 18-May-20 09:05:40

OP my DS is travelling by train today he's attending a funeral. Check whether you have to "reserve" a place on the train I know LNER are insisting you reserve a place and Avanti and recommending it.My DS booked his ticket before they said this and he had to contact the train company and they emailed him another ticket "reserving" him a place on a particular train. The train company he's travelling on are saying they are only allowing 10% of passenger on so on a big train which maybe has 900 seats thats only 90 passengers so not many heaven knows how they are organising this he's lucky he's getting on at the start of a the journey. Social distancing is apparently also being enforced you're not allowed to sit next to any one (not form your own home) and only use alternate row, face masks are also compulsory.

Baileyscheesecake Mon 18-May-20 09:08:55

Would it increase your friend’s anxiety to see you knowing you and your children have travelled by train and you could potentially be bringing the virus to her. Isn’t there anyone else living locally to her who could take her out for a walk? Do you know whether she even wants to go out for a walk or are you projecting on her what you think she should be doing?

lljkk Mon 18-May-20 09:09:25

Someone was just on radio about face coverings being compulsory on trains... I had impression he was complaining he didn't have powers to make face coverings compulsory but he wanted them.

bloodylongdrive Mon 18-May-20 09:10:34

Should have said Avanti will not guarantee you'll get a seat if you don't have a reservation. I'll happily update you later on how many were on the train. Obviously he's coming a long way and its a very busy route in normal times you wouldn't get an actual seat if you hadn't booked one. The number of trains running across the UK is also being increased I think from today.

bloodylongdrive Mon 18-May-20 09:11:49

If you look on the train companies websites many are saying face masks are compulsory none of the is being widely publicised.

RaininSummer Mon 18-May-20 09:17:27

If you can actually drive, would it be an option to hire a car for the day. No idea if they are open at present but not always as pricey as you would think.

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Mon 18-May-20 09:19:03

are you intending to meet outside?
i dont spose the police would stop you

P1nkHeartLovesCake Mon 18-May-20 09:21:54

45 minutes by train in the current situation is too far

If it was just you possibly, taking a child along no
If you could drive and didn’t have to use public transport, possibly

The longer people do whatever they want the longer your friend won’t have support

I don’t see how 1 walk with you and a child is going to help your friend really

Alsohuman Mon 18-May-20 09:29:17

*45 minutes by train in the current situation is too far

If it was just you possibly, taking a child along no
If you could drive and didn’t have to use public transport, possibly

The longer people do whatever they want the longer your friend won’t have support

I don’t see how 1 walk with you and a child is going to help your friend really*

There are no restrictions on travel time now so 45 minutes is fine. Why isn’t it fine with a child? They’re the least affected group. A walk in the fresh air and some human company would lift most people’s spirits.

LemonTT Mon 18-May-20 09:37:08

You would clearly be breaking rules. But I don’t think you would be challenged. It’s a decision for you to make in relation to rules.

In terms of your family, you aren’t considering health risk very much in your post. First thing is that you cannot be certain of how this person has behaved in lockdown. That applies to anyone you meet regardless of MH. The trains may be empty but you are going to have to stop the children moving about. Then you need to plan toilets and food for them and yourself. When you are “caring” for your friend, what will your children do? What if he or she becomes distressed or agitated? What is they try to hug or get close to you. I see this everyday in parks. Social distancing is not being observed when people meet up.

The reason for a lot of the rules is that people don’t really think things through. BJ talks about common sense but he didn’t use it himself and look what happened to him, and his girlfriend, and his cabinet, and his advisers.

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