Festive transport guide: Helping you with your travel plans

A sugar figurine of Father Christmas sitting on a train on a Christmas cake Image copyright Getty/Ivo Noppen

Reduced train, plane, coach and ferry services and maintenance work on the railway are planned in Wales this Christmas.

This guide is aimed at helping you navigate festive services, whether you are travelling from Wales to elsewhere in the UK or further afield, or visiting Wales.

Whatever your plans, we have all the information you need to help you plan ahead.


Check if this is affecting your journey


No trains will run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Image copyright PA

Arriva Trains Wales

ATW say major engineering works are taking place between Monday 28 December to Sunday 3 January which will result in changes to the published timetables and the following services:

  • All train services travelling between Newport and Cardiff will be affected by engineering work.
  • Revised train times will be in place between Cardiff and Maesteg.
  • Revised train times will be in place on the Manchester / Holyhead / Shrewsbury / Hereford route. Some services will depart earlier or later than previously advertised.
  • Revised train times will be in place between Cardiff and west Wales.
  • ATW has advised ferry service passengers to check for connections to ferry services.
  • Between Monday 28 and Thursday 31 December, passengers travelling from Cardiff to Ebbw Vale have been advised to check their journey details for revised times and station calling times.
  • On New Year's Day, a replacement bus service will be in operation between Cardiff and Ebbw Vale Town.
  • There will be no Valley Line train services on New Year's Day.
  • ATW added that some late night and early morning journeys may be subject to change in December and advised passengers to check before travelling.

Great Western Railway

Image copyright PA
  • On Sunday 27 and Monday 28 December there are no services between London Paddington and Swansea. Instead, an hourly train service will run between London Marylebone and Swansea calling at Banbury, Oxford, Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport, Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Port Talbot, Neath and Swansea. This will extend journey times by up to 90 minutes.
  • On Tuesday 29 December to Sunday 3 January, GWR will run a revised timetable with one Swansea service an hour via the usual route from Paddington.

Virgin Trains

  • Virgin Trains said services would be finishing slightly earlier on Christmas Eve and has advised customers to check before they travel and book early.
Image copyright PA


Anglesey Airport

Cardiff Airport

Image copyright Flybe
  • Cardiff Airport has flights scheduled to arrive and depart on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • A spokeswoman said it was expecting its busiest winter season since 2009/2010, with about 16,000 passengers expected over Christmas week.
  • The busiest day is expected to be Tuesday 22 December.


Stena Line

  • Stena Line has no sailings to or from Holyhead or Fishguard on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • On Christmas Eve the 20:30 GMT from Holyhead to Dublin will not depart.
  • On Sunday 27 December the 02:15 from Dublin to Holyhead will not depart.
  • Apart from 25 and 26 December, there are no changes to services to and from Fishguard.
Image copyright Stena Line
Image caption Stena Line is changing its name to Santa Line this Christmas

Irish Ferries

  • Irish Ferries has no sailings on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • The last sailing from Rosslare into Pembroke before Christmas departs at 08:45 on 24 December.
  • The last sailing to Rosslare from Pembroke before Christmas departs at 14:45 on 24 December.
Image copyright Irish Ferries
  • The first sailing after Christmas from Rosslare to Pembroke departs at 08;45 on 27 December.
  • The first sailing after Christmas to Rosslare from Pembroke departs at 14:45 on 27 December.
  • The last sailing from Holyhead to Dublin before Christmas departs at 14:10 on 24 December.
  • The last sailing from Dublin to Holyhead before Christmas departs at 08:15 on 24 December.
  • The first sailing after Christmas from Holyhead to Dublin departs at 11:50 on 27 December.
  • The first sailing after Christmas from Dublin to Holyhead departs at 08:05 on 27 December.
Image copyright Stagecoach

Coach travel

National Express

  • On Christmas Day, National Express is running four services each way between Wales and London. The coach will make stops at Newport, Cardiff and Swansea.
  • National Express is running 13 services from Wales and 13 services to Wales on Boxing Day.
  • The company said it would run a "near normal" service on Christmas Eve.
  • Bookings for Christmas Day are up by 180% and bookings for December as a whole are up 10%.


  • Megabus services are running throughout the festive period, including on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Image copyright Getty/Comstock Images
  • Areas served on Christmas Day include Cardiff, Newport and Cwmbran.
  • For those who want to see in 2016 in London but travel homes to Wales afterwards, a special service to Cardiff and Swansea will depart from London on Friday 1 January at 01:30.


  • The Welsh government said all traffic management systems in place for scheduled road works on trunk roads would be removed from Friday 18 December until 4 January.
  • A spokesman said recent years had shown no significant increase in traffic on the week leading up to Christmas and traffic levels were generally lower for the following week.
  • Statistics show an increase in vehicle breakdowns during this period, so the Welsh government has advised drivers to perform the necessary checks on their vehicles.

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