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Train operators to increase timetables


15 May 2020

Passenger train operators in England will increase services from Monday (18th) as people return to work following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. 

Services will also increase in Wales where lockdown restrictions have yet to be eased. But the Scottish Government has instructed ScotRail to defer plans to increase services because the country’s lockdown restrictions remain in place.

From Monday, Greater Anglia will run an amended Saturday timetable, with increased frequencies on the Great Eastern Main Line from Colchester, Clacton and Southend to London and the West Anglia Main Line from Cambridge to Liverpool Street.

Frequencies on the operator’s regional lines and Norwich-London will remain unchanged. 

Merseyrail Electrics will increases services half-hourly during the daytime.

In a report to Transport for the North’s Rail North committee meeting this week, officers said operator Northern was planning to reintroduce its pre-existing December 2019 timetable.

The officers said TransPennine Express would focus on increasing  ‘travel to work’ services rather than services mainly used by leisure passengers. 

ScotRail had planned to increase services on Monday but transport secretary Michael Matheson has ordered it to defer the changes because the Scottish Government has yet to relax its lockdown restrictions. Ministers continue to advise people to stay at home. 

A Transport Scotland spokesman told LTT: “It is clear that we must plan to increase capacity in advance of demand, not the other way round. Therefore the cabinet secretary has instructed ScotRail to prepare a series of future service increases. It is anticipated these will be implemented ahead of need.”

Transport for Wales will increase its rail services on Monday up to about 65 per cent of normal on Monday. Like Scotland, the Welsh Government has yet to relax travel restrictions and is continuing to advise people to stay at home. 

A Transport for Wales spokesman said service levels were being increased so that the rail system was “as well prepared as we can be for when restrictions are eased”.  

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