Public thanked as train operators report similar passenger numbers on first day of new timetable

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Can you avoid train travel poster
Credit: TFTN

Transport for the North has thanked travellers for not using the train on the first day of new timetables.

Last week, members said that clear communication was needed to make sure the public knew the importance of leaving the trains for those who really needed them.

On Monday 18th May, that message was heard, with Network Rail and operators reporting very similar levels of passenger numbers to the same day last week.

David Hoggarth, Transport for the North’s Strategic Rail Director, said: “All of us know the importance of social distancing – and all of us know the importance of rail in helping key workers and essential users access the people and places they serve at this critical time. Last week, along with many others, we appealed to the public to only use rail travel for essential purposes – and even then, if no other alternative transport was available. We said then that rail capacity would be severely restricted because of social distancing requirements and that, even though more services would be running, space would still be at a premium.

David continued “What’s been really encouraging is that people appear to have taken on board the advice. This makes it safer for those using and operating the services and it is a clear demonstration of users thinking of others before themselves. It is really heartening to see. Clearly it is still early days we are going to continue to monitor the situation closely,” David continued, “but the measures that are being put in place, coupled with the common-sense and selflessness being shown by the public should help us all as we go about re-starting our economy and getting the businesses of the North back into action again. It is important that people continue to consider whether their journey is necessary and, if it is, whether they can travel another way.”

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