TRAIN services between London and south west England have been cut back because of an outbreak of Covid-19 at Laira depot in Plymouth.
GWR said the number of cases is ‘significant’, and that it has been forced to reduce its timetable between London, Exeter, Paignton and Plymouth.
Some trains will be making extra calls at Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury and Castle Cary, while GWR warned that disruption is expected until the close of service on Christmas Eve.
A number of traincrew members have been affected, but a further 50 or so are absent while self-isolating.
GWR said it has transferred some staff from other depots as part of a contingency plan, while passengers are able to use CrossCountry services between Bristol and Exeter and SWR between Exeter and Basingstoke, although reservations are compulsory on CrossCountry. National Express, Megabus and Snap have increased their coach services.
GWR managing director Matthew Golton said: ‘Due to the impact of Covid at some of our locations in the south west we have taken these steps now to help make sure everyone who has already bought a ticket will still be able to travel, as we take stock of our ability to accommodate additional customers.
‘We’re sorry for any inconvenience this will bring to anyone travelling over this period who has not currently booked a ticket, but we are doing all we can to ensure that we provide a robust service for those that are already booked to travel with us.’