Eastercon Transport Issues – Further updates will be posted at the bottom of the page, with date of collation.
Members should be aware that they are multiple issues with public transport over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend that will affect travel to the event venue – the Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre at London Heathrow. This is an ongoing concern and we will be providing updates via our Twitter and Facebook social media channels.
Long distance train services are likely to be running at a reduced service during the Easter Weekend. Please check your travel arrangements ahead of time. This is especially the case on the West Coast main line, as London Euston will be closed for the weekend. Options for travel by train include via the East Coast main line operators, or on Cross Country, some of whose trains call at Reading. Information on planned engineering works can be found on the National Rail website, here: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/currentAndFuture.aspx
Transport for London have stated that the Piccadilly Line of the Tube (The London Underground) will not be running past Acton Town from the Friday of the Easter weekend to the Monday inclusive. Tube Replacement Buses will be in operation – these tend to have less space for luggage, to run less frequently, and to have considerably reduced capacity when compared to a tube train. You should allow for your journey to take a considerably longer time than if the Tube was running through to Heathrow. Information on the status of Tube services can be found here: https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/ This page will also allow you to check for planned works on future dates.
The Heathrow Express should be running. If you are able, please see https://twitter.com/HeathrowExpress for further details. We understand that Heathrow Express may not be releasing details of service patterns for the Easter weekend until closer to then. Tickets on the Heathrow Express can be expensive if bought on the day of travel. Cheaper prices can be obtained by buying in advance, or via the company’s app. Further details here: https://www.heathrowexpress.com/tickets-and-offers/tickets-offers#/
TfL Rail should be running to Heathrow. This is a non-express train service which runs from London Paddington railway station. TfL Rail accepts Oyster Cards and Contactless payments, but has a separate, and more expensive fare regime than other modes of the London Transport system. TfL Rail is, however, cheaper than the Heathrow Express if you have not been able to buy a ticket in advance. https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/tfl-rail/
Members who have attended previous conventions may be familiar with the Heathrow Free Travel Zone which was in operation along Bath Road, and which included the area occupied by this year’s convention hotel. The Heathrow Free Travel Zone service has been suspended due to Covid. For more information on London bus routes, please see: https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/by-coach-or-bus/local-buses. There are no direct daytime TfL bus services from central London to Heathrow, although some coach services operate from London Victoria Coach Station to Heathrow, as part of their network of services. The TfL local Night Bus service – the N9, does run from central London, for anyone arriving into central London in the early hours of the morning.
Coaches operate to Heathrow directly from many British towns and cities. The principal long-distance operators are National Express and megabus. Further information can be found here: https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/by-coach-or-bus/coaches
If you are able to do so, we would strongly recommend extending your booking at the convention hotel to arrive on the Thursday before the event and depart on the Tuesday after. We would also remind members that the convention has negotiated a convention car parking rate of £5 per day. Given the above issues, we expect the car park at the hotel to be very busy.
Members may also wish to consider the use of a journey planning app. Other members have recommended Citymapper, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. https://citymapper.com/london Other similar apps are also available.
Advice collated – Sunday 10th April 2022
Some UK airports continue to experience exceptionally long security queues. Some airlines flying within and to the United Kingdom have cancelled flights due to covid-related staff shortages. Any members currently planning to fly to the convention are strongly advised to check the current position with their airlines, and to arrive at their departure airport at the earliest possible opportunity. If your departure airport is offering ‘Fast Track’ security passes, we would strongly recommend that members avail themselves of this facility if they can do so.
Ferries – members may be aware that P&O Ferries, who operate routes from Northern Ireland to Scotland, and across the English Channel, have recently been unable to operate all of their services. Their services are still restricted, due to restrictions imposed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. There are also delays generally through the port of Dover. On the Larne to Cairnryan route, tourists may not be able to travel before Thursday 14th April (the day before Reclamation begins). The BBC has reported on the situation here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-61057113 and that report contains links to further updates. Members intending to travel by ferry on any P&O route are advised to check that their route is operating, and is carrying non-freight vehicles and passengers. Information from the Port of Dover can be found on their website, here: https://www.doverport.co.uk/
Tube – updated, additional advice
From Monday 11th April, until further notice, the Metropolitan Line of the tube will operate to a special service, until further notice. We expect that this special service will still be in operation on the weekend of Reclamation. The Metropolitan Line will operate at a considerably reduced frequency, and this may affect members who had planned to use this underground line, either to connect to other services, or as a link to a local bus service. Further information here: https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/london-underground-is-cutting-met-line-trains-on-monday-due-to-faults-53641/ (we are aware that this is not the official TfL website, but the owner of this blog is a reputable source of information within London, and, at the time of collating this advice, we could not find this information on the TfL website).