Southern and Thameslink have said passengers shouldn’t travel from 6-7.30am to help avoid packed trains, writes Kit Heren…
The rail companies’ warnings come days before the government lets pubs, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen on July 4, along with several other kinds of business.
Southern and Thameslink are set to increase the number of trains they run to meet demand and help people keep to social distancing rules. The companies will show when trains are busiest on its online journey planner.
The train companies have also told passengers to wear a face covering, book their tickets online or use contactless to pay, carry hand sanitiser and keep their distance from other travellers wherever possible.
Northern, which runs routes connecting London with the north of England, is following the same measures.
Steve White, chief operating officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs the companies, said: “From 6 July we will have more peak services and longer trains on our busiest routes so please check before you travel and remember: you must wear a face covering and you should always wash or sanitise your hands before, and after, every journey.
“We are working with business organisations, and other stakeholders, to respond to the easing of lockdown measures but capacity remains limited by social distancing so, where possible, customers should avoid the busiest times of the day which are now between 6am and 7.30am.
“Online journey planners are a great way to check in advance if your train is normally busy.”
There are a number of measures already in place to help passengers keep safe.
Among other measures, the busiest stations are operating one-way systems to help people keep to social distancing, there are more than 1,000 touch-free hand sanitiser points around stations and staff wipe down every carriage of all Southern and Thameslink trains on a nightly basis with a powerful new cleaning fluid that reportedly kills viruses for up to 30 days.