Transport for the North, rail operating companies, Network Rail, and the British Transport Police have today (Friday 27 March) joined forces to call on EVERYONE in the North to keep the region’s railways free for essential travel only.
With recent days having seen people use railways to take trips to beauty spots for non-essential purposes – and in doing so risk spreading the Covid-19 virus – a clear message has been issued by the region’s transport body and rail industry to STAY AT HOME and SAVE LIVES.
The message comes as sunny weather continues across the region into the weekend and the first full ‘STAY AT HOME’ week comes to an end. David Hoggarth, Strategic Rail Director for Transport for the North, said: “Rail operators themselves are having to cope with high absence levels and have trimmed back services as they begin to introduce ‘key worker’ emergency timetables. Together they want to ensure the rail services that do operate are kept free for those who really need them.”
With social distancing an absolutely vital weapon in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus, all are determined that those who have to use the railways for essential purposes can do so with the minimum of risk – especially with many working in the region’s hospitals or other key areas of activity. For non-essential travellers, taking the train to a quiet place for a walk or some other form of exercise is no longer an option.
The message is clear – no-one should be using the railways unless they are a key worker or have no other way of accessing essential services or supplies.