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7 May: news in brief

Tunnel shuttle vehicle numbers fell sharply in April

THE effect of lockdowns in Britain and France from later in March has been reflected in the latest statistics of Channel Tunnel traffic. Eurotunnel said 19,682 cars, motorbikes and coaches were carried in April this year, compared with 227,393 in April 2019. Lorry traffic was also down but only by a third, and this was ‘mainly due to the resilience of demand for food, pharmaceutical and e-commerce goods’. A total of 79,474 vehicles were carried on the Truck Shuttles in April compared with 119,563 a year earlier, which was a fall of 34 per cent. Eurotunnel owner Getlink said ‘protective hygiene measures and social distancing have been strictly applied both for staff and customers, in addition to a voluntary reduction in the number of trucks carried on each crossing’.

Pandemic ‘will cause permanent changes’

TRANSPORT FOR WEST MIDLANDS is predicting some permanent changes as one result of the present pandemic, ‘with more people working from home, shopping locally and taking fewer leisure trips’. TfWM has launched an online survey in a bid to discover what people in the region think about the future of public transport, and forms completed by 09.00 on Monday can enter a prize draw and possibly win one of three £50 Amazon vouchers.

Manchester staff thank NHS

NORTHERN staff at Manchester Oxford Road station are celebrating NHS and other key workers who pass through the station with a display of rainbows and messages of thanks created by members of staff and their children, together with brightly coloured canvas paintings and some photographs of the workers themselves. The display has been mounted on glass partitions inside the station. The idea came from Nigel Valentine, who is customer service assistant at Oxford Road and who wanted to pay tribute to key workers using the trains. Many of them are on their way to nearby Manchester Royal Hospital and NHS Nightingale or are travelling on the Warrington line to Urmston, which is the station for Trafford General Hospital.

Help for hungry from East Midlands Railway

FUNDS and food have been given by East Midlands Railway to a station café in Newark, which is helping vulnerable people cope during the Covid-19 pandemic. EMR has provided Carriages Community Café at Newark Castle station with £2,500 and more than 50 meals, including food from Rail Gourmet, to support their efforts. The money will be used to buy a new oven – allowing the café to produce more than 200 meals each week.

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