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Travelling locally during COVID-19

Woman waiting at bus stop in Stockton

 

Last updated 18 January 2021

Here we provide information and advice in response to some of the questions we've been asked about travelling locally during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Have we missed anything?

If you have any other questions about getting around during the lockdown, please let us know and we will do our best to help.

Current situation - national lockdown.

Stay at home, stay local.

  • You must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.
  • You must not leave your home unless necessary.
  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.

1. Am I allowed to leave my home?

2. Are buses and trains running as normal?

3. Is it safe to travel by public transport?

4. Can I get help planning my journey?

5. Am I allowed to walk and/or cycle for exercise? How much can I do?

6. Is it safe to walk or cycle?

7. Where can I walk or cycle?

8. I am a key worker. How can I get a bike to ride to work?

9. Are bike shops open at the moment?

10. My bike needs some repairs. How do I show my bike some TLC?

11. Are there any cycling-related activities I can do with the children?

1. Am I allowed to leave my home?  

You must not leave your home unless it is for a legally permitted reason.  For example, work, or medical appointments.  For a complete list of legally permitted reasons go to UK Gov website [external link].

2. Are buses and trains running as normal?

Bus and train operators are running, although some services may be reduced or altered due to the ongoing situation. 

For bus service timetables please visit Connect Tees Valley [external link]. Or visit your operator's website:

  

For train times, please visit National Rail Enquiries [external link] or your operator's website:

(Grand Central Trains services are suspended from 9 January to 28 February.)

  

3. Is it safe to travel by public transport?

You should only travel when completely necessary, but yes, it is safe to do so when required. All bus and train operators are carrying out additional procedures to ensure public transport is Covid-secure, including:

  • Extra cleaning
  • Hand sanitiser on board for passengers
  • Space between passengers
  • Passengers must wear face coverings on board and at stations and interchanges
  • Screens between drivers and passengers on buses
  • Reminders to staff and passengers to keep 2 metres from others, wear a face covering and keep hands clean

Check your bus or train operators' websites for further information of steps they are taking to keep people safe.

  

4. Can I get help planning my journey?

Yes, you can. You can visit Traveline [external link] and use the online journey planner, or you can call them on 0871 200 22 33 (cost 12p per min from landlines and mobiles). 

Alternatively, visit your bus or train operator's website for up-to-date service information.


Our team of Travel Advisors are on hand to provide advice on how you can travel around the Tees Valley. Please complete the form on the Contact Us page and one of the team will be in touch.

 

5. Am I allowed to walk and/or cycle for exercise? How much can I do?

Yes, you can. You may exercise once a day, for an unlimited amount of time.

The government coronavirus guidance states you may:

"exercise on your own, with your household or support bubble, or with one person from another household (when on your own). Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble."

You can meet in a public outdoor space, but not in private gardens or houses.

You must STAY LOCAL. Staying local means:

"avoid travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live."

We would advise that you check the road conditions before cycling and look out for snow and ice on the roads and pavements.

 

6. Is it safe to walk or cycle?

Yes, it is safe to walk or cycle for exercise. If walking or cycling with ONE other person outside your household or bubble, you should remain 2m apart from each other. 

 

7. Where can I walk or cycle?

You must stay LOCAL to where you live. Staying local means:

"avoid travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live."

You can walk on pavements or cycle along the road network, as you would normally. However, please bear in mind that there may be more people out walking and cycling than usual and you may need to overtake others by going out into the road. Please do so only if it is safe.

If cycling during the darker mornings or evenings, you must use front and rear lights.

Please use routes that you know well and are suitable for your abilities.

View walking maps and cycling maps for your area.

 

8. I am a key worker. How can I get a bike to ride to work?

Some of our partners in Darlington, Middlesbrough and Stockton may be able to provide help with a bike to cycle to work. Please email us at info@letsgoteesvalley.co.uk with details of where you live and work and we will do our best to help.

 

9. Are bike shops open at the moment?

Under government guidance, bike shops are able to stay open, if they can do so safely. Please contact your local bike shop before visiting, in case they have changed their opening hours or are operating an appointment only scheme.

To our knowledge, the following bike shops are open:

The Sustrans website provides information about open bike shops and offers for key workers. Visit the website here.

If you know of any other bike shops that are open at this time, please let us know and we will add them to the list. You can email us at info@letsgoteesvalley.co.uk

 

10. My bike needs some repairs. How do I show my bike some TLC?

Please ensure your bike is roadworthy before going out on a ride. The first step is to carry out the M-Check, which is a way of checking the important parts of your bike to make sure it's safe to ride. Follow this video to see how it's done:

 

There are many minor repairs that can be done at home, with a little guidance from the experts online! Check out these YouTube channels for help with looking after your bike at home:

If you would prefer to leave it to the experts, the following bike shops are open to carry out repairs:

If you know of any other bike shops offering a repairs service during this time, please let us know and we will add them to the list. You can email us at info@letsgoteesvalley.co.uk

The Sustrans website provides information about open bike shops and offers for key workers. Visit the website here.

 

11. Are there any cycling-related activities I can do with the children?

British Cycling has a great website for cycling with kids, including fun activities that can be done at home without a bike. Find out more here.

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