Rail operator, Northern, is calling on passengers to prepare for timetable changes, as the rail industry changes to a ‘new normal’ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
New timetables will be introduced in September to deliver more trains in some areas and extending operating hours in others.
The timetables don’t show a return to pre-covid levels, but do show the challenges faced by Northern and the ever changing demands of its passengers, some of who are returning to school and work for the first time in months.
Steve Hopkinson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on society, and the railway has not been immune from that.
“We are doing all we can to continue to provide the best possible service for customers across the network. Many members of staff have been shielding, and the knock-on effects of the virus will be felt for many months.
“With limited resources, the timetables we are set to introduce in September reflect the new normal for Northern and have been designed to provide as many services as possible, at the times our customers need them, without risking punctuality and reliability.
“We want our customers to have confidence in the service we are offering and our plan to reintroduce services in a phased way will give those customers the stability they deserve.”
Steve added: “We have to balance the demand for services with other factors, such as driver and conductor training, which have been paused for six months during the pandemic because of social distancing restrictions.
“We have brought in as many additional services as possible with the resource we have available and have prioritised routes and times where there is the most significant demand.
“Of course, all routes are important to us, and we keenly understand the role we play in providing mobility for the communities we serve. As such, we will do all we can to reintroduce further services when it is possible and appropriate to do so.”
New timetables for Northern come into effect on the 14th September, and details of these can be found on the Northern website.
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