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Travel Advice During COVID-19

Find the latest advice and information on travel around Lancaster during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Further information on travel can be found on the Travel webpages but please be aware that some information may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rethinking Travel

The Coronavirus pandemic is reshaping many of our travel patterns and habits. Many of us are enjoying the outdoors, walking more or cycling more. We have benefitted from less traffic on the roads, less congestion, less pollution and improved air quality as a result. 

Many people are finding public transport challenging or have concerns about their health when using these means and as a result are switching to new modes of travel. Through personal choices, many are benefitting their health, their finances and the environment. 

Current advice and information

Accordion

  • General travel advice, guidance and current restrictions

    Last updated: 18th May 2021

    Plan ahead and travel safely.

    You should walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

    If you use public transport, you should follow the Safer Travel Guidance.

    General Information

    The UK Government's latest advice and guidance on Coronavirus.

    You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace. More information on self-isolation and COVID testing is available on our coronavirus intranet webpage.

  • Bus & Coach Travel

    Last updated: 18th May 2021

    More space available on buses from 17th May

    From Monday 17th May Stagecoach are safely and steadily making more seats available on their buses, when busy. Every forward facing seat will be available when the bus is busy. You won't be able to use rear facing or side seats or stand up. For full details please see the updated travelling safely page on the Stagecoach website.

    Using public transport in groups

    On all public transport you must travel in groups no larger than 6 people, or 2 households.

    University Vacation Bus Timetables until further notice

    A normal bus timetable for University Vacation periods is in operation until further notice. Timetables are available on the Stagecoach website.

    Bank Holiday Bus Services - Monday 31st May 2021

    On the bank holiday of 31st May a normal Sunday timetable for University Vacation periods will be operated by Stagecoach.

    Sainsbury's Bus - Summer Term 2021

    The Sainsbury's bus on Wednesdays is suspended until Welcome Week in October due to Covid-19. For bus travel from campus to Sainsbury's in Lancaster please use other Stagecoach bus services to Lancaster Bus Station which is situated across the road from Sainsbury's.

    General information

    The latest Government advice on using public transport.

    The current advice is to walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. The Stagecoach Bus App has a “How busy is my bus?” feature. This is a useful way to find a quieter bus.

    Several studies suggest that the chance of Coronavirus spreading on public transport is minimal. Stagecoach are operating a robust cleaning regime on all their vehicles and social distancing and the wearing of face coverings is mandatory. This all helps to ensure that the bus is safe to use. Stagecoach have released a vide ooutlining the Covid safety measures they are taking.

    Important information for all passengers using Stagecoach bus services is available on the Stagecoach website. Additional information and FAQs on bus travel is also available. For updates follow Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire on Twitter.

    Face coverings at public transport hubs and bus stops

    You must wear a face covering in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs. This includes the University Underpass and Lancaster Bus Station. Please observe all social distancing guidelines at the Underpass and at all other bus stops. Wearing a face covering is recommended at other bus stops.

    Accessibility

    If you have a question about accessibility whilst using bus services during the present time you may find an answer on Stagecoach accessibility. FAQ webpage

    Payment

    Please pay on board by contactless if you can. Cash payments are exact fare only so no change will be given.

    Unirider bus passes

    If you expect to travel on three or more days per week (four days if you are under 19) buying a bus pass should save you money. Unirider bus passes can be purchased directly from Stagecoach online where a wide range of payment methods are accepted. Bus passes for students are only available online in 2020/21 due to COVID-19 and are not available via the Students' Union. If a replacement bus pass is required, staff should contact the People and OE Rewards Team and students should contact the Facilities Helpdesk.

    Refunds - Students

    Information on refund requests for student bus passes is available on the Stagecoach website.

    Staff bus pass payments and refunds

    The University has considered the cost of bus passes during Covid-19 and made the decision not to cancel monthly payments for the bus pass or issue refunds for various reasons. A price freeze on all subsidised staff bus passes for 2020/21 should help mitigate against this. Reasons for not providing refunds include the following:

    • The administrative workload and costs of processing refunds and cancelling future scheduled salary deductions would outweigh the amounts being refunded. There is no increase in staff bus pass prices in 2020/21 to reflect this.
    • There are challenges in administering refunds or cancelling salary deductions for some staff and not others as some staff pass holders are still required on campus each day for whom a refund would not be appropriate.
    • The passes are already heavily subsidised at either 70%, 75% or 100% (dependent on grade).
    • The passes have to be paid for in full to Stagecoach and the University is not obtaining refunds on the amounts paid to Stagecoach for the staff bus passes.

    More information

    Please check this page and the links provided frequently for the latest updates and information.

    More information about travelling to the campus by bus is available on the Bus Travel webpage.

  • Cycling

    Last updated: 5th January 2021

    General information

    Lancaster is an excellent area for cycling and one of just six former national Cycling Demonstration Towns benefitting from sustained investment in cycling. A recent study found that Lancaster is the best cycling city in the UK.

    Cycling will help to reduce pressure on the local bus services and the local road network. The Government advises that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands both before and after cycling.

    Cycle routes on campus

    New cycling routes onto campus were installed in 2020 linking Bailrigg Lane, the new Health Innovation Campus and the main campus site. This video shows what it is like to cycle this new route.

    New cycle routes off campus

    Pop-up Covid cycle lanes are provided by Lancashire County Council to help encourage safer cycling during the Coronavirus outbreak. For example, a pop-up Covid cycle lane is provided on South Road which is a key student transport corridor in Lancaster.

    Bike maintenance and Dr. Bike services

    Please note that the Bike Maintenance Workshop in Bowland Avenue remains closed until further notice. There will be no Dr. Bike maintenance service on campus until further notice.

    Access to Shower and Changing Facilities

    Unfortunately, shower and changing facilities on campus are temporarily locked-off due to the risks associated with COVID-19 transmission. We will open up these facilities as soon as it is safe to do so. We understand how important access to such facilities are for many cycle commuters.

    More information

    More information is available on the Cycling webpage.

  • Walking

    Last updated: 23rd November 2020

    Walking as a form of transport is free, healthy, independent and easier to social distance. Walking will help to take pressure off the local bus services and the local road network.

    Where possible, keep a suitable distance from other people. For example, when using one of the cycle routes or footpaths and when waiting at a crossing or traffic lights. Take precautions where this is not possible.

    New walking routes onto campus are available linking Bailrigg Lane, the new Health Innovation Campus and the main campus site. This video shows what it is like to cycle this new route. During darkness hours, the cycle route between the Sports Centre and HIC should be used instead of the new cycle route past the side of Lake Carter as that route does not yet have lighting on it. We are working on a lighting scheme for this route that will be sympathetic to the fragile ecology in that area of campus.

    More information about walking to campus is available on the Walking webpage.

  • Rail Travel

    Last updated: 18th May 2021

    General Information

    Rail services stopping at Lancaster are operated by Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express or Northern.

    On all rail services you must travel in groups of no more than 6 people, or 2 households.

    If you travel by train please follow the recommended guidance of National Rail before you set off:

    • Plan ahead and consider travelling during less busier times of the day;
    • Consider other passengers and rail staff. Wearing a face covering whilst travelling by train is required;
    • Wearing a face covering is required in all train stations at all times;
    • Stay safe by following social distancing guidelines at stations, platforms and trains wherever possible;
    • Do not travel if either you or anyone in your household are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

    Further Information

    Important advice and information for all rail passengers is provided and regularly updated by National Rail.

    The latest information on Lancaster Railway Station including ticket office opening hours is available here.

    Information is also available on the Train Travel webpage.

  • Car Parking - General

    Last updated: 16th April 2021

    Parking Enforcement

    Parking enforcement on campus is in place. This is helping to ensure a fair and efficient parking system for all parking users. Enforcement continues as normal during term times, vacation times and lockdown periods.

    Cashless Parking Payments

    Payment for parking on campus is cashless only. This helps to reduce Covid-related issues associated with handling cash and reduces costs.

    Parking charges apply during University vacation times as same as they do during term-times.

    Parking Permits

    All types of parking permit sales are exclusively available online for 2020/21. The following are available to purchase through the University's Online Payment Portal:

    Please do not visit the Car Parking Office in person. You can contact the Parking Office by telephone on 01524 592179 or by email at car-parking@lancaster.ac.uk

    More information on car parking on campus is available on the Car Parking webpages.

  • Staff Car Parking - Payments and Refunds

    Last updated: 18th May 2021

    The University has considered the cost of parking permits during Covid-19 and made the decision not to cancel committed monthly salary deductions for parking permits or issue refunds for various reasons. This applies both to 2019/20 and to 2020/21. Monthly salary deductions for staff parking permits will continue as normal.

    Annual permits are for the 2020/21 academic year and expire on 30th September 2021. The year and expiry date are not printed on the annual permits this year.

    The reasons for not cancelling parking permit payments or issuing refunds include:

    • The administrative workload and costs of processing payment cancellations and issuing refunds would outweigh the amounts being refunded. There has been no increase in permit prices for this year.
    • There are significant challenges in administering payment cancellations and refunds for some staff and not others as some staff are still required on campus each day for whom a refund would not be appropriate.
    • The revenue generated from staff parking funds subsidised staff bus travel and the University is not obtaining any refunds from Stagecoach.
    • Many staff car commuters have saved money on fuel and other motoring expenses by not commuting to campus during lockdown periods. A [working from home/furloughed] full time member of staff travelling a [typical commuting distance of] 4 miles will save approximately £75/month on vehicle operating costs (168 miles x £0.45/mile). Those staff working from home do incur [additional] costs through homeworking. The UK Government calculates homeworking costs at £6/week, or £25/month. The monthly cost of the parking permit works out at between £10-£18/month (depending on grade and proportion of week worked). In the event that staff remained furloughed or working from home until end September 2020 the cost of the parking permit over that five-month period would be £50-£100. A member of staff with a parking permit who is now working from home is likely to save £50/month (£75/month vehicle commuting costs - £25/month homeworking costs).
  • Car Sharing and Sharing Lifts

    Last updated: 18th May 2021

    You must not share a private vehicle in groups larger than 6 people, or 2 households, unless your journey is made for an exempt reason. Further guidance is available here.

    See also the Car Sharing webpage.

  • Taxi Travel

    Last updated: 18th May 2021

    Please see the latest guidance and advice here on using taxis during the pandemic.

    Please note that the Bowland Avenue taxi rank outside the Chaplaincy Centre has relocated across the road from its usual location to the drop-off area opposite. This is until the end of June 2021 whilst ongoing works take place to replace district heating pipework in the vicinity.

    You must wear a face covering when using a taxi or private hire vehicle in England.

    Lancaster City Council regularly publish updated information and guidance for locally licensed taxi and private hire operators in Lancaster. You can view this here.

    The taxi ranks located in Bowland Avenue by the Chaplaincy Centre, on Alexandra Park Drive by the Lonsdale College bus stop and in the city centre all remain open.

    More information on taxi travel is available on the Taxi Travel webpage.

  • Electric Scooters

    Last updated: 23rd November 2020

    Privately owned e-scooters are currently illegal to use on UK roads, pavements and cycle paths.

    The UK Government has now legalised hired e-scooters in certain areas where trials are taking place on their use on public roads and cycle paths. Lancaster is not currently one of these areas but this may be an opportunity for the future.

    We suggest that you consider a bicycle or an electric bicycle instead.

  • Student Car Parking - Payments and Refunds

    Last updated: 16th April 2021

    The University is not issuing refunds or transfers on student parking permits during Covid-19 for various reasons. This applies both to 2019/20 permits and to 2020/21 permits.

    Reasons for not issuing refunds include:

    • The administrative workload and costs of processing refunds would outweigh the amounts being refunded. There was no increase in permit prices for 2020/21 to reflect this.
    • Many student permit holders have saved money on fuel and other motoring expenses by not commuting to/from campus during lockdown. These costs are usually greater than the permit costs.
  • Have a query?

    If you cannot find any answer to your query through this webpage or the main Travel webpages then please contact the Facilities Helpdesk team who will be happy to assist you.