Rail companies slash one in ten services as passenger numbers struggle

Rail companies will slash one in ten services as passenger numbers struggle to bounce back after lockdown

  • Some trains on hourly services will now be cut to running every two hours 
  • Operators are focusing their resources on commuter and school services 
  • Sundays will be hardest hit, operating at 76 per cent of the normal timetable 

Britain’s rail companies will slash one in ten services as post-lockdown passenger numbers plummet. 

The new autumn train timetables will be phased in from today with services operating at 10 per cent below the levels before the pandemic.

This will leave passengers with longer wait times and see trains that ran hourly cut to running every two hours.  

Britain’s rail companies will slash one in ten services with the new autumn timetable as post-lockdown passenger numbers plummet 

Operators are focusing resources on commuter and school services, meaning evening and weekend trains will be hardest hit, according to The Sunday Times.  

GWR said it was focusing on providing trains for people getting back to the office, and Sundays will be hardest hit, operating at 76 per cent of the normal timetable.  

CrossCountry Trains, whose routes include Aberdeen to Penzance, will still be running at only 65% of pre-Covid levels.  

The Leeds to Chester route, which ran hourly via Manchester Victoria, will now run only every two hours according to Northern Trains.

Some fast services on weekdays between Bristol and London are not being reinstated for now, being cut from six instead of eight.   

Rail operators have said services were unlikely to rise above 90 per cent until May next year, with few services being restored in the winter timetables.   

Operators are focusing resources on commuter and school services, meaning evening and weekend trains will be hardest hit

Susie Homan, a director of the Rail Delivery Group, said they wanted passengers to ‘travel with confidence’ which means running a service that is ‘more reliable than before’. 

The Department for Transport said that it was ‘inaccurate and untrue’ that they would agree to fewer services operating in the long term. 

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