Travel advice

Local travel

We would encourage as many staff as possible to consider active travel options that enable social distancing, such as walking and cycling. Not only are they great forms of exercise, they minimise close contact with others and reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Cycling

See information about cycling to and from campus.

You can buy a new bicycle and safety equipment with savings of up to 42% through our Cycle to Work scheme

If you don’t own a bike, you can hire one from one of the two BTN BikeShare docking stations on campus. As a Sussex staff member you can enjoy a free ride  sign up with BTN Bike Share before 31 August 2021 and enter the code UNI2020; this covers the unlock fee plus one 30-minute ride. You can also purchase a discounted annual membership at £65 (a 10% discount), which includes 30 minutes of free use every day.

Public transport

We appreciate that some staff will prefer to take public transport and we have been liaising with Brighton & Hove Buses as well as Southern Rail to discuss how this can be achieved safely.

Please travel outside peak times if possible and please be patient, as capacities are currently reduced to facilitate social distancing. Do not travel if either you and or anyone in your household are showing symptoms of Covid-19.

You are required by law to wear a face covering on public transport, unless you are exempt.

See the latest:

We are ensuring there is awareness of this travel advice amongst students – and that they should let us know how we can support them.

Bus travel

Brighton & Hove Buses have increased daytime services, with buses running to and from Brighton every five minutes at peak times.

Brighton & Hove Buses are using technology to communicate real-time information and indicate where services are at capacity. They are eager to understand new patterns of travel in the local area and are monitoring usage. Staff from the University of Sussex liaise with Brighton & Hove Buses on an ongoing basis; please email Transport@sef.fm if you have any observations or concerns to pass on.

Brighton & Hove Buses have put special measures in place to help keep customers safe. They clean their buses up to five times a day with hospital-grade cleaning products, and have limited capacity on their buses to support social distancing. You can even check how busy your bus is before you travel.

Please wear a face covering unless you are exempt. See information and advice from Brighton & Hove Buses. Helping hand cards are available to those who are exempt.

Watch a short film on the bus company’s coronavirus updates page to find out what else they are doing to help you to travel safely.

Brighton & Hove Buses encourage you to use alternatives to cash. Sussex staff can obtain a 10% discount on Brighton & Hove networkSAVER bus tickets (7 day, 28 day, 90 day and annual) using the key smartcard. This discount is also obtainable by registering for the easit scheme. Note that 1 day, Pay Monthly networkSAVERS and citySAVER tickets are not included.

The bus company’s customer services team are available seven days a week to help with any questions you may have.

See service updates and the latest bus passenger advice to protect against Covid-19.

See also more information from the University of Sussex about bus travel

Rail travel

Southern Rail, which operates the trains to Falmer station, are monitoring all trains and stations for increased passenger numbers. They are adding alerts to trains in journey planners where they expect trains to be busy. Staff from the University of Sussex liaise with Southern Rail on an ongoing basis and pass on any observations or concerns.

Southern Rail have put special measures in place to help keep customers safe.

They are checking and cleaning trains more regularly throughout the day. Southern Rail have stepped up cleaning regimes to ensure that all surfaces including handrails, ticket machine touch-screens and door handles are kept clean at all stations, with particular focus on the busiest locations. They deep clean specific locations if required and have employed additional staff to increase overnight cleaning at their depots.

To help maintain social distancing, Southern Rail have placed stickers on floors as well as posters on exterior doors of all trains and in prominent locations. They make audio and visual announcements at stations to advise of any crowding.

If you are travelling by train, please follow the recommended guidance:

  • Plan your journey in advance. Revised timetables are in operation and journey planners are being updated daily. Check the red banner (Important Coronavirus Information) on the Southern Rail home page for the current status of the journey planners
  • Consider travelling at quieter, off-peak times; see details of the busiest times
  • Buy tickets online or use contactless payment if possible
  • Wash your hands before and after you travel
  • Carry hand sanitiser; Southern Rail do not have hand sanitiser on board trains or at all stations
  • Wear a face covering at all points of your journey – from when you enter the station to when you exit the station at your destination; download a travel support card if you are exempt
  • Follow social distancing guidance at stations, on platforms and on trains

For the latest information and guidance on timetables, busier stations and trains to avoid, as well as tips on travelling safely by rail, see the Southern Rail website. For up-to-date train times, go to www.nationalrail.co.uk

See also more information from the University of Sussex about rail travel

Driving and parking on campus

If you will be working on campus in 2020/21, and you need to drive, you can opt to apply for:

  • an annual permit – £30 per month, paid via salary deductions (first payment to be taken on 31 October)
  • or a free pass to park – allowing the purchase of daily scratch cards (£20 per book of 10)

If you will be driving to campus only a few days each week, you may find that scratch cards offer a cheaper option than an annual permit; the cost of a book of scratch cards has been reduced for 2020/21.

Parking charges have applied since the start of the autumn term (28 September 2020).

See detailed information about driving and parking on campus during Covid-19.

Limit the time you spend at garages, petrol stations and motorway services. Try to keep your distance from other people and, if possible, pay by contactless. 

Wash or sanitise your hands often, and always when getting into or out of your vehicle. 

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble.

Further information

See the Transport website for further information about options for travel to and from campus.

If you have any questions or concerns, email the Transport Office: transport@sef.fm

Travel in the UK and abroad for research or on university business 

The re-introduction of overseas travel is being phased in for staff and postgraduate researchers now that the UK government is easing travel restrictions. The University has agreed in principle to travel within the UK and Europe on University business including research.

If you are from overseas, you may be permitted to travel on University business to your home country even if this is outside Europe, subject to the regional controls.

You must abide by all local controls in any region where you are travelling.

Approval for overseas travel

All international travel is at the discretion of Heads of School or Directors of Professional Services.

Information on how to apply for international travel and to resume work off campus within the UK is available via the Health & Safety web pages.

No overseas travel will be approved without completion of parts 1 and 2 of an Overseas Travel Safety and Security Risk Assessment, which is also available via the Health & Safety web pages.

Any travel proposed should be in line with the financial guidance issued in March and should be considered only where it is absolutely essential.

Booking travel

You should book via the University’s managed travel provider, Key Travel, wherever possible.

You should ensure that costs associated with cancellation are avoided by booking flights that allow rescheduling or cancellation. The University’s managed travel provider can assist with this.

Insurance

In accordance with guidance from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, only trips that are deemed essential by the University will be insured.

For any new trips commencing on or after 1 August 2020, there will be no insurance cover for travel disruption costs caused by Covid-19.

See further information about travel insurance.

Phasing in and review of travel arrangements

These travel arrangements are reviewed every fortnight by the Health & Safety Committee.

Phasing in the permission to travel allows us to be satisfied that the system is working well before we expand our list of allowed destinations.

Given the ongoing situation – with local lockdowns in the UK and others possible in the future – you must be prepared for further lockdowns that may impact your travel.

Further information

For further advice about travelling on university business, please contact the Health & Safety Team at healthsafety@sussex.ac.uk

There are some useful links to ensure you follow travel guidelines:

Personal travel

These arrangements apply only to travel on University of Sussex business, including research. If you are travelling recreationally, you are not restricted by University travel policies but you are advised to follow guidance from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Can I travel between London (Tier 2) and Brighton (Tier 1)?

Travel restrictions aren’t applied in Tier 2, and so there is no reason why people should not travel to campus from Tier 2 areas.

People working in education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the Government’s safer travel guidance and going to work guidance.

I wish to go abroad for personal / recreational reasons and the current government guidance requires me to self-isolate for 14 days when I return.  What will this mean for my work at the University?

It is likely that many staff who have booked holidays abroad will have had these cancelled, but if you are planning to take leave outside of the UK then please contact your manager in advance to agree the arrangements to accommodate current requirements for self-isolation on your return. If you have been granted annual leave for your trip and will be able to work from home, then there may be no implications for your work.  You will simply continue to work from home but your manager will be aware that you will be unable to attend your place of work during this period. If you have on-site teaching or other requirements during the self-isolation period then you will need to speak with your manager so they can arranged for these to be covered. 

You will be required at all times to act in accordance with the latest government guidance on re-entering the country. https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.

If you are unable to carry out your normal work from home, and you cannot be allocated alternative work that you can carry out from home, you should discuss the impact of this with your line manager before you book your annual leave and travel abroad.  The alternative options that might be available to you regarding the 14 day self-isolation period include:

  • If you have sufficient annual leave, you may apply for a long enough period of leave to cover both your trip and the required period of self-isolation on your return (exceptionally you may be able to make a local arrangement to bring forward some of your 2021 leave allowance to cover this period)
  • If you do not have sufficient annual leave, you may apply for annual leave for your trip and additionally for a period of unpaid leave to cover your self-isolation on your return.
  • It may alternatively be possible for you to make up the time required during the three months following your return to work and where practical and possible, your manager should support this.

Should you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any point, you must follow the relevant Government guidance with regards to getting tested.  Any period when you are unwell should be registered as sickness absence.

Government guidance continues to evolve and may override University guidance at any time.

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