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Travelling locally during COVID-19

Tees Valley Travel FAQs

 

Last updated 12 April 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 queries about getting around during the lockdown, please ask us a question and we will do our best to help.

Current regulations:

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country. In England:

  • Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
  • Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
  • Work from home if you can and minimise travel
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home

Step 2: Monday 12 April until Sunday 16 May

Step 2 Roadmap out of Covid

Frequently asked questions

1. Am I allowed to leave my home?

2. I need to get to work or school - 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 or for socialising?

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?

 

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us a question!

You can also request a FREE walking and cycling map for your local area!

  

1. Am I allowed to leave my home?  

Yes, you may leave your home, but certain restrictions remain in place. The Government’s instruction to stay at home and only travel if a journey is essential has ended, and people are being advised to minimise the number of journeys that they make on all modes of public transport.

Full guidance on what you can and can't do is on the www.gov.uk website.

Current guidance in England states:

  • Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
  • Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
  • Work from home if you can and minimise travel
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home

  Full details are on the gov.uk website

2. I need to get to work or school - 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:

Travelling to school

With schools and retail now fully open, public transport may be busier than usual and services may be at capacity. We urge you to consider walking or cycling, or travelling on public transport at off-peak times to leave space for people travelling to work or school.

For more guidance on travelling to school, please visit:

Home to school transport:

https://www.letsgoteesvalley.co.uk/lets-go-to-school/home-to-school-transport-across-tees-valley/

Using public transport safely:

https://www.letsgoteesvalley.co.uk/lets-go-to-school/travel-safely-to-schoolcollege-on-public-transport/ 

Northern Rail has provided the following advice on travelling on their services at this time:

Travelling on Northern Trains Covid 19

  

3. Is it safe to travel by public transport?

Yes, it is safe to travel by public transport. 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 about 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 or for socialising?

Yes, you can meet up outdoors with friends and family you do not live with, either:

  • in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6)
  • in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)

We would advise that you check the road conditions before cycling and look out for water or slippery conditions on the cycle and footpaths.

Indoor socialising is still not permitted.

 

6. Is it safe to walk or cycle?

Yes, it is safe to walk or cycle for exercise. If walking or cycling with people outside your household or bubble, you should remain 2m apart or 1m + face covering from each other. 

 

7. Where can I walk or cycle?

You can walk on pavements or cycle on the cycle path and road network, as you would normally. Cycling on pavements is not permitted.

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 in the dark, 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?

Bike shops and repair centres have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but some may have reduced hours or changes to the way they operate due to the current restrictions (eg appointment only or limited numbers of people in the shop). Please check with your retailer before going to the shop.

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 many bike shops also carry out servicing and repairs. Free servicing is available in Stockton and Hartlepool. For more details visit the Cycle Maintenance section of this website.

 

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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