Rail companies will add more than 2,500 daily services to timetables from next week as lockdown restrictions ease
- Amendment will come into effect from Sunday ahead of lockdown easing
- Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has said it is the largest increase in capacity this year
- It comes as restrictions ease on Monday, seeing indoor venues reopen, pubs and restaurants serving customers inside and family and friends able to hug
More than 2,500 daily services are set to be added to rail services ahead of the next relaxation of lockdown rules.
Demand for services is expected to increase from Monday when coronavirus restrictions are further eased, resulting in the first of two major shake-ups of timetables.
The amendment will come into effect on Sunday, which industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) says is the largest increase in capacity this year.
Demand for services is expected to increase from Monday when coronavirus restrictions are further eased, resulting in the first of two major shake-ups of timetables
Great Western Railway also announced earlier this week that it will operate 99 per cent of its timetable from Monday following more than a week of disruption due to cracks on trains.
Social distancing rules will be further eased on Monday, which will allow people in England to meet outdoors in groups of 30, indoors in groups of six, or as two households.
Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors, and venues such as cinemas, museums and theatres will reopen for business.
Friends and family will also be able to hug ‘cautiously’.
RDG Director of Nations and Regions Robert Nisbet said that even though services are increasing, passengers should be mindful that social distancing may not always be possible.
‘As many people prepare to make their first journey since the pandemic began, we’re ensuring that they can travel with confidence by increasing space and maintaining enhanced cleaning,’ he said.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has said train companies will focus on ensuring rail services are comfortable and reliable for passengers ahead of a major shake up to timetables
‘As part of our safer travel pledge, we’ve made journeys more comfortable and reliable for people when they return and while we are adding thousands more daily services to increase space, social distancing may not always be possible.
‘We’re therefore asking people to travel at quieter times where they can and to wear a face covering unless exempt.’
Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: ‘As passengers return to the railways, adding more than 2,500 daily services will help meet demand and support people in travelling safely.
‘Train companies will be focusing on ensuring services are comfortable and reliable, and by providing detailed travel information passengers will be able to plan ahead, avoid busier trains and feel confident on their journey.’
As part of the journey to lifting lockdown, sources have said that face coverings in shops, social distancing and working from home will all be scrapped on June 21 and wedding limits could be lifted too.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said earlier this week that advice to work from home where possible should be scrapped by that date – dubbed -Freedom Day’.
He added that the government will confirm the relaxation of limits on weddings by the end of this month, so people can have larger ceremonies from June 21.
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