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Guidance from rail companies and a statement of condolence following the death of HRH Duke of Edinburgh
- As part of the rail industry’s safer travel pledge to ensure people can travel with confidence, rail companies are increasing services to almost 18,000 each weekday by 12th April, an increase of over 1,000 since February.
- The increases come as passengers prepare to return to retail and leisure. To get the network ready, rail companies have boosted cleaning and are protecting rail staff with the introduction of lateral flow testing in March.
- Measures come in addition to ventilation systems fitted on most trains, which refresh air in the carriage every ten minutes.
This morning, at Victoria Station, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall met the people who pioneered the lifesaving ‘Rail to Refuge’ scheme, which enables survivors fleeing domestic abuse to access free train travel to a safe refuge. The meeting follows The Duchess’ public support for the scheme’s extension last week.
- Extension expected to help hundreds more domestic abuse survivors to reach safe refuge
- Figures show 1,348 people have used the lifesaving scheme, equal to four survivors a day
- Scheme was introduced by all train operators during first lockdown, having been pioneered by Southeastern in 2019
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hailed the efforts of transport operators and employees across the country who have gone above and beyond to help the nation’s coronavirus vaccination roll-out, as the programme nears a major milestone in reaching those most at need.
- Train operators are asking people who need to use the railway during lockdown to check before they travel as changes to services become available on journey planners.
- Working with government, train companies will be reducing services but will ensure key workers and others who need to travel can do so and will focus on maintaining space for social distancing. Operators will continue to monitor and adapt services to ensure they meet demand.
- The change reflects the lower numbers of people travelling and delivers better value for taxpayers; while ensuring services will continue to run reliably if COVID-19 affects the availability of rail staff
- Changes are being made in a way so that services can be restored as quickly as possible when restrictions are eased meaning not all operators are stepping timetables down at the same time, so people who are travelling should continue to check train times regularly over coming weeks.
Responding to recent reports of staff at a small number of train companies being affected by Covid-19, a spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said:
Response to the government announcement confirming rail fares will remain at 2020 prices until 1 March 2021 and then rise by 2.6%.
This morning the ORR published their latest statistical release on Passenger Rail Usage, covering Quarter 2 of 2020-21 (July to September 2020).
- This year, rail freight will transport millions of Christmas decorations, trees and bottles of wine including 30% of Tesco’s Christmas range
- Rail freight has played an important role supporting the country throughout the pandemic and will now ensure people have everything they need to celebrate the festive period
- Intermodal rail freight which includes goods for retail has increased by almost 20% over the last decade with 1.6million tonnes being transported last month.
- With each freight train carrying as much as 76 HGVs, rail freight will help cut traffic jams in the run up to Christmas