In The News: 20th March

Click here to listen to the latest news on Friday, 20th March 2020

The Government and rail operators across the UK have agreed a plan that will see a gradual reduction in train services across the country to reflect lower passenger demand, while keeping vital rail services running.

Operators will continue to run core services ensuring people remain able to get to work, can travel to access medical appointments and the flow of goods continues across the UK.

It’s as people stop all unnecessary travel and decrease non-essential social contact to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Rail services will be reduced from Monday with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying they will ensure keyworker heroes can get to their jobs to keep this nation running.

In a message to Network Rail suppliers, its chief executive Andrew Haines says they plan on proceeding with all major work across the Easter weekend.

There are plans for in excess of 3,200 worksites across more than 800 planned possessions. He says they want the railway to be at its very best when the country emerges from this crisis.

They are also asking colleagues to consider where there maybe opportunities to bring work forward.

Sticking with coronavirus and the Rail Freight Group has called on freight staff to be classed as key workers so they can continue to deliver services for the economy.

It has also called for financial support for private sector business to enable trains to keep running and increase volumes where required.

Finally and if one thing has come through during the crisis it is the power of the rail to go above and beyond.

Just one of dozens of examples of this includes CrossCountry which has temporarily suspended its on-board catering services and donated surplus food to local foodbanks and charities.

Photo credit: Shutterstock