The Transport Secretary is warning Christmas travellers to plan journeys carefully and prepare for restrictions on passenger numbers.

Grant Shapps said there will be more freedom to visit loved ones next month as all four UK nations "move closer" to agreeing rules on festive gatherings.

It comes after Boris Johnson confirmed tougher tiers will replace the lockdown on December 2.

Gyms and non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen under the new three-tiered system.

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Mr Shapps said the government would do everything they can to make train networks "as good as possible" before Christmas.

He told BBC Breakfast: "We have got to understand there are limitations to the (train) network caused by, for example, things like the need on some trains to pre-book tickets at this time, in order to prevent overcrowding.

“So we are going to be appealing to people to look very carefully at the transport route they take and of course even making a choice about whether they travel at all.

“It is the reality of the situation we’re in, we will try to do everything we can with the network to make it as good as possible, but I think it is worth people being aware that busy times of travel is a problem.”

He added he is in “close contact” with transport leaders of the devolved governments in the UK to make Christmas travel plans, which he expects will be finalised “later this week”.