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National Rail to help passengers make more informed decisions when travelling thanks to latest technology
- From today National Rail passengers returning to the train over coming months can feel even more in control of their journey, thanks to the launch of a new last mile feature on National Rail’s Alert Me by Messenger
- As part of the railway’s Safer Travel Pledge, Alert Me by Messenger has been providing passengers with alternative routes since June 2020 to help them maintain social distancing if their journey is predicted to be busy, or if there is a disruption.
- You can sign up for travel alerts by searching for ‘National Rail’ on Facebook, in Messenger or by clicking the ‘Keep Me Updated’ button on the National Rail website. The Alert Me by Messenger service will also be made available via Whatsapp this spring.
- This technology is being rolled out across the rail industry.
- As Britain faces unprecedented economic and environmental challenges, new independent research shows the value of rail freight in levelling up the nation’s economy and supporting a green recovery from Covid.
- The total economic and social benefits of rail freight are valued at £2.5bn annually with the areas benefiting most including Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales
- Rail freight is cutting Britain’s carbon footprint by preventing 7million HGV journeys per year
- A new framework shows that the value of a rail freight path can be worth up to £1.5 million each year
- Containerised goods, which include groceries, components and electronics, is the largest category of freight, with rail offering a more reliable and greener transport alternative to an increasing number of businesses.
- Rail freight moves vast quantities of aggregates and cements from quarries into cities and other conurbations playing a vital role in supporting Britain to build back better
- Rail companies have today pledged to make stations across Britain more sustainable.
- Action to reduce waste, support local wildlife and cut the carbon footprint of railway stations will be informed by the industry’s new Sustainable Stations Guide launched today.
- The 2,563 railway stations across Britain cover an area around the size of Central London and 85% of people in the UK live within 5km of a station.
- With rail accounting for just 1.4% of transport emissions despite representing 10% of all journeys, rail companies want to go further, faster, to get the UK on track to meet its net-zero commitment.
A Campaign for Better Transport survey has revealed that cars will continue to be the preferred mode of transport for around half of journeys post-Covid. It also found that two thirds (65%) of UK adults in employment were working entirely from their place of work before the pandemic, whereas just half (53%) plan to do so when restrictions begin to ease.
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.