THE Rail Delivery Group has confirmed that the number of trains willl be increased from next week, and that capacity on board will be down to as little as 10 per cent as a result of social distancing.
The RDG has been responding to new government guidance on social distancing and the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England.
Robert Nisbet, who is director of nations and regions at the RDG, said: ‘As the government has said, people should only use trains if they have no alternative. There will be space for as few as a tenth of the usual number of passengers so we need everyone’s help to keep trains for those who really need them, so please only use the railway if you absolutely have to.
‘If you do have to travel by train, help us get you safely where you need to go. Plan ahead by buying tickets online and travelling off-peak. Consider others by maintaining social distancing where possible and wearing a face covering. Stay safe by using contactless, washing your hands and carrying hand sanitiser.
‘As well as gradually increasing services from next week to support the nation during the next phase of the coronavirus response and running longer trains in some places, we will be cleaning trains and stations throughout the day, every day. We will be managing capacity on trains and in stations and increasing signage to help people get around.’
The rail unions have already warned that they will oppose any strengthening of the current timetables unless staff are protected sufficiently.