People thinking of using the train to go shopping and for leisure trips as lockdown eases today (June 15), are being reminded to avoid the morning and evening peaks on Southern to help keep the railway clear for key workers and others who need it most.
Train companies say those who must travel by train should follow these clear guidelines:
- From June 15, as a passenger, you must wear a face covering
- Try to avoid the busy times of the day between 6.30am and 9am and 4pm to 6pm
- 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 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 today, (June 15), GTR will make further improvements with some extra services and longer trains to improve capacity where it is needed. Passengers should check their services at: 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:
- 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
- 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.
To keep passengers and staff safe, there is an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points:
- All 2,700 train carriages are sanitised every night
- 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.