Train services to be reduced to 72% of pre-pandemic levels

Above: Photograph by Marianne Mahaffey 

Train services across the country, including those which service Chiswick, will be reduced by up to 72% of pre-pandemic levels.

The changes will come in place gradually over the next few weeks and passengers will be asked to check before they travel whether their regular service is running.

The rail industry argues that the timetable cuts will mean a more reliable service for passengers. They put themselves in danger of catching Covid-19 by interacting with the public. A reduced service means fewer rail staff will catch the coronavirus. If they tried to run a full schedule, more staff get sick and the greater the disruption would be to the schedules.

A spokesperson for South Western Rail told The Chiswick Calendar:

“Our priority is to provide safe and reliable train services for all those key workers who are keeping our country running through this difficult time.

“A third national lockdown is impacting on our passenger numbers, while a high number of colleagues are absent or self-isolating due to COVID-19. As a result, we have reduced the number of services we run.

“This is a constantly evolving situation and further changes will be made in the coming weeks and months at short notice. We strongly recommend our customers check their journey close to their time of travel”.

Check on their website to see which services are running

Above: Photograph by Marianne Mahaffey

TfL have “no plans” to reduce services

Whilst train companies like South Western Rail make cuts to their timetables, Transport for London currently have “no plans” to reduce the frequency of their tube services.

A spokesperson for TfL said:

‘The Government’s message is that everyone must stay at home unless there is a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse for leaving home includes travel to work where it cannot be undertaken from home, to shop for necessities, seek medical assistance, visit a support bubble or for education.

‘Public transport can still be used for such journeys. Londoners are also asked to consider using London’s network of safe walking or cycling routes where possible and to use TfL’s travel tools to plan journeys by public transport during the quieter times. These are currently between 08.15 and 16.00 and after 17.30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18.00 on weekends on public transport.

‘TfL aims for services across the network to continue to run as close to normal as possible to help social distancing for those who need to travel, but like other businesses it could be affected by the impacts of coronavirus.

‘Currently 10 per cent of operational staff are absent, which includes staff who need to stay at home because they are self-isolating, ill or clinically extremely vulnerable. This could mean that there may need to be some changes to service frequency or some station closures. The latest service information will be available online and through TfL travel tools including the TfL Go app.

‘All customers are advised to check before they travel.’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Rapid COVID-19 tests available in Hounslow

See also: All you might want to know about Covid in our area – Kelly O’Neill

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