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More trains, but travel ban stays for now

MANY train operators have reintroduced more of the pre-pandemic services which had been suspended, but passengers are still being told that they should make only essential journeys and that face coverings remain compulsory.

More people will need to travel to work, because most shops have been allowed to reopen in England and retail staff are returning to their jobs.

Robert Nisbet of the Rail Delivery Group said: ‘As part of the safer travel pledge, rail companies are working together to keep people safe and help the economy get back on track by running more trains and boosting cleaning.’

The reduction of the minimum social distance from two metres to ‘one metre plus’ means that trains can now carry more people than before, although capacity is still reduced.

CrossCountry is running longer trains to increase safe capacity further and more routes are being served again, including Paignton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stansted Airport, as well as limited services west of Plymouth to Newquay and Penzance.

CrossCountry managing director Tom Joyner said: ‘While social distancing remains a requirement, we are pleased to provide almost a third more capacity on many trains than we could in March, meaning people can be confident they can travel with us in comfort and safety. And with towns and cities that have not been served by us for many months again seeing daily services, the CrossCountry rail network is again open for business.’

A further increase in National Rail frequencies is likely later this month, and there is speculation that the present restrictions on train travel could also be eased to allow less ‘essential’ journeys soon.

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