Rail company advises passengers: Avoid busy times of day and wear a face covering

Published: 25 Jun 2020

People thinking of using the train to go shopping and for leisure trips as lockdown eases on 15 June, are being reminded to avoid the morning and evening peaks on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern, to help keep the railway clear for key workers and others who need it most.

Those who must travel by train should follow these clear guidelines:

·         From 15 June, as a passenger, you must wear a face covering

·         Try to avoid the busy times of the day between 06.30 and 09.00 and 16.00 to 18.00

·         Book tickets online and use contactless payments wherever possible

·         Please keep your distance

·         Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after travelling

Like train companies across the UK, Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is running a reduced service because staffing levels have been affected by coronavirus. However, it has been adding extra services and lengthening trains when NHS workers and others have sent in reports of busy trains.

From 15 June, GTR will make further improvements with some extra services and longer trains to improve capacity where it is needed. On the Great Northern suburban services to Moorgate, there are additional early morning services and evening peak trains, plus extra carriages in the morning and evening peak on the busy Southern route between Epsom and London Victoria via Sutton. Passengers should check their services at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Chief Operating Officer Steve White said: “Lockdown is easing from Monday but capacity on the rail network remains limited, especially in the morning peak, due to the requirement for social distancing. Please wear a face covering and help us keep trains clear for those who really need them by avoiding the busiest times of the day.”

GTR is supporting social distancing with a wide range of measures (see photos below):

·         One-way and queuing systems at the busiest stations, with 19,000 floor signs across the network, 25,000 train signs, posters, adverts and announcements to remind people to socially distance

·         1,000 touch-free hand sanitiser points have been put in at stations

·         We have developed a staff app to monitor passenger volumes and movements to identify ‘hot spots’ across the network – uses data from trains, ticket sales, ticket gates, and from staff seeing where social distancing may not be being observed. We can also use this to modify our service where possible

To keep passengers and staff safe, there is an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points (see photos and video below):

·         All 2,700 train carriages are sanitised every night and…

·         … GTR has treated all its trains with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing viruses for up to 30 days.

·         This product is also being used to treat stations, offices and other staff locations such as depots.

Government advice can be read here: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

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