Travel chaos reigned on Saturday evening as people rushed to leave London before Category 4 restrictions were implemented.
Traffic data showed bottlenecks in London and surrounding areas increased, as train prices rose as demand increased.
Additionally, train tickets sold out quickly. By 7 pm on a Saturday evening, there were no trains available online from many of London’s stations including Paddington, Kings Cross and Euston.
Footage captured at St Pancras Station in London showed passengers streaming through the lobby on trains heading north.
Passengers were told that social distancing “would not be possible” due to the number of people on board, and those who felt “uncomfortable” should not stay on the train.
Passenger Harriet Clogston said the people on the trains tried to secure space for themselves, but there wasn’t enough space to do so.
“As expected, the train is full,” she wrote on Twitter.
“ Advertising for tannoy says social distancing ‘just wouldn’t be possible’ due to volume and downfall if you’re not comfortable with that.
“People have tried to secure social distancing by their status [bags] On seats, but other passengers were asked to remove them because the train is too full. “
One woman, who did not want to be named, said that she and her partner made a “split decision” to take their young son to her parents’ home on the coast.
“We made the decision to leave based on the fact that my parents said come, and we couldn’t bear the idea of not having fresh air and a small child walking around a small apartment in the future,” she told the press agency.
Anecdotal reports indicated that highways departing from London were crowded with drivers heading to get around the new restrictions.
Some people have been driving to leave their newly restricted areas for an extended period of time, while others have been leaving to spend the last few hours below Level 4 anywhere.
Izzy, 22, from Bristol, said she wanted “a safe stay at home for Christmas” and that her parents had come to pick her up before the restrictions took effect.
“I feel a little nervous because they might block the roads or something is preventing me from returning home,” she told Press Association.
Boris Johnson announced Saturday that all areas of East and Southeast England – including London – that were in Level 3 will move to the newly established Level 4 from midnight.
Level 4 actually returns residents to the rules in place during the national lockdown.
Those in Levels 1, 2 and 3 can now only mingle with other families to celebrate Christmas on December 25 instead of the longer period the government originally planned.
Additional coverage by the Press Association