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Travelling in and around Birmingham during Covid-19

Getting around looks a bit different at the moment, and in a new city this can be a little daunting. Our travelling to Uni advice page for lots of useful information on getting to campus, plus below we’ve pulled together some handy tips for travelling in and around Birmingham during Covid-19.

Woman travelling in mask

Before you travel

  • Before you go anywhere, don’t forget to check for any restrictions that may be in place for the way you plan to travel.
  • Give careful consideration to how you are going to travel – you can help control coronavirus and travel safely by walking and cycling where possible. Our Travelling to Uni page is a useful resource for finding your way to the right campus.
  • Where walking or cycling isn’t possible, use public transport or drive.
  • Remember it may take longer than normal to get to and from Uni due to social-distancing measures and limits on the number of people who can get on public transport, so leave plenty of time for your journey.
  • If you’re driving, bear in mind that the roads may be busier than usual as more people take this option.

Walking and Cycling

The safest way to travel during Covid-19 is walking or cycling. It’s also great exercise.

If you’re cycling, you can plan where to park your bike by checking out BCU’s cycle parking facilities on our interactive map. Temporary pop-up cycle lanes have been created around the city to help keep cyclists safe.
You can also find out more about cycle schemes at BCU here.

Public Transport

Buses, trains and trams are running but capacity has been reduced to support social distancing. You’ll find additional safety measures and increased cleaning have been put in place too.

Remember:

  • Leave extra time: there may be delays, as the number of people allowed onboard has been limited. You may not be able to get on the first service and have to wait for the next one.
  • You will need to Don’t forget to maintain social distancing where possible and wear a face covering while travelling on public transport.
  • Face coverings must also be worn in enclosed transport hubs such as airports, rail stations, bus and coach stations.
  • If you don’t wear a face covering you could be fined £100. You can find further guidance on the Government website.
  • Some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or equality reasons.

Here’s some tips from West Midlands Network for social distancing on public transport:

  • When waiting at stops or stations, stay apart from other passengers not in your household or social bubble
  • Do not crowd at the doors when getting on board. Stay back and form a queue.
  • Stay a safe distance from drivers or conductors and don’t sit on the seats behind them.
  • If the service is full, be patient and wait for the next available service.
  • When leaving the service, leave a two-metre gap between you and the person in front. Don’t all get up at once and queue in confined spaces.

Private cars

People who live together in a household or support bubble can all travel together in one vehicle. You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble.

If you need to share a car with others outside your household or bubble, the Government recommends that you:

  • share the transport with the same people every time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may have touched
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering.

Taxis and private hire vehicles

You should wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you don’t wear one.

Use contactless payment where possible, or find out if you can pay online in advance.

Getting here by air

If part of your journey involves flying, be prepared from the start by familiarising yourself with any restrictions your airline has put in place, as well as the latest information from your departure and arrival airports.

You should make sure you’re familiar with the latest government guidelines on self-isolation periods relating to the location you’re flying here from.

Don’t forget to wash hands your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

For more travel guidance from the Government visit their webpages.