Rail Delivery Group guidance for using the rail network

As we all move into the next phase of the UK’s response to Coronavirus, the Rail Delivery Group has issued important guidance.

Only those who cannot work from home should be travelling to work, and where people do so, they should aim to avoid public transport if possible.

The railway in England will be gradually increasing services from today (Monday 18 May) and running longer trains in some places to cope with increasing demand. To maintain social distancing wherever possible, there will still only be space for as few as a tenth of the usual number of passengers.

In our region, Greater Anglia have advised that they will be running a timetable, similar to that operated on a Saturday but with  some variations to reflect weekday working patterns – please check their website for full information.

The Rail Delivery Group is asking the public to keep the trains for those who really need them by only travelling when there is no alternative. They are also asking employers to help by considering staggered start and finish times, which will enable people to avoid peak hours, and by actively encouraging people to drive, walk or cycle if possible.

Commenting on the guidance, Jonathan Denby Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said:

“It’s important to reiterate that only essential journeys should be made and that we are asking those customers that do need to travel to observe social distancing, wherever possible. We will be doing everything we can to help customers do so, with extra signage, floor markings and announcements where practical, but we are also seeking support from customers to adhere to the guidance.  In addition, we are asking customers to consider starting or finishing work earlier or later, so that not everyone is travelling at the same time, and to buy tickets online wherever practical (and if that’s not possible to please use contactless payment). The Government is also advising people to wear a face covering when using public transport.

“Our top priority is that customers and staff can travel safely while the coronavirus outbreak persists. We are continuing to pay particular attention to cleaning high contact areas on our trains and stations such as push buttons, door handles and grab rails. We have also been using some “fogging guns”, which are used for spraying and sanitising large areas.  They use cleaning chemicals which kill different types of viruses, and are a good way to clean areas which are difficult to reach, quickly and efficiently. The machines can be used to clean trains at any depot, station or train stabling point on the Greater Anglia network. They can also be used, if necessary, in waiting rooms, offices, mess rooms or in other railway buildings.  

As we have been doing throughout the lockdown period, we will be monitoring customer numbers and the operation of the revised timetable, to see if we need to make any adjustments.” 

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