What it's like travelling during the pandemic

Sam Pugh

Sam tells us her experience travelling by train as a deaf person during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam wearing a face mask standing in front of a train on a platform

Coronavirus has had a big impact on rail travel, with new rules on how we get on board. I want to share my recent experience of catching the train as a disabled passenger. 

My experience using the train

Recently, I travelled to London for an appointment – the first time since lockdown. New rules meant I had to wear a face mask in the station and on the train.

Before lockdown, I’d usually travel on my own. But, as a deaf person, I rely on lipreading and was concerned I’d miss information. So this time, my Dad came with me. Thankfully, face mask exemptions meant he was allowed to remove his mask when talking to me.

How I found travelling by train

There were lots of signs reminding passengers to wear masks and socially distance. And more staff than usual to help and direct people, although I found this confusing as I couldn’t hear their instructions.

Typically, even off-peak trains to London are very busy. However, my off-peak train was quiet, and passengers sat far apart. Hopefully, this can continue as lockdown rules ease.

It was strange travelling with all the new rules, and I definitely felt less confident to travel independently. Although, I think it will get easier the more I travel. Next time, I’m considering requesting passenger assistance which has been available throughout lockdown.

What’s your experience been like?

Have you travelled by train recently? We’d love to hear your experiences of rail travel during Covid-19 and as lockdown restrictions ease.

Email us at campaigning@leonardcheshire.org. Although it’s been a strange time with less travel, we still want to ensure our rail networks improve so everyone can stay connected.

Email us about your experience travelling during the pandemic