Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern encourage customers to stagger journeys and check new train times

Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern is working in partnership with businesses as they prepare to reopen in line with Government advice. Customers are encouraged to support social distancing by avoiding travel, where possible, during the busiest times which are now between 6am and 7.30am.

People who are thinking of travelling are asked to check www.nationalrail.co.uk as an adjusted timetable with more peak trains is introduced from Monday, 6 July (a summary is included in the editor’s notes, below). The busiest trains are now being highlighted in online journey planners.

To help passengers on their journeys, you should:

  • Try to avoid the busiest times of the day between 6am and 7.30am and stagger your journeys
  • Wear a mandatory face covering
  • Book tickets online or use contactless payments
  • Keep your distance where possible
  • Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after travelling

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs the three companies, has summarised this advice in a video of top 10 tips.

GTR Chief Operating Officer Steve White 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.”

GTR is supporting social distancing with a wide range of measures (see photos below):

  • One-way and queuing systems at the busiest stations
  • 19,000 floor signs across the network and 25,000 train signs, posters, adverts and announcements reminding people to socially distance
  • 1,000 touch-free hand sanitiser points have been put in at stations
  • We have developed a staff app to monitor passenger volumes and movements to identify ‘hot spots’ across the network – uses data from trains, ticket sales, ticket gates, and from staff seeing where social distancing may not be being observed. We use this information to highlight the busiest trains in journey planners and modify our service where possible

To keep passengers and staff safe, there is an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points (see photos and video below):

  • All 2,700 train carriages are sanitised every night and…
  • … GTR has treated all its trains with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing viruses for up to 30 days.
  • This product is also being used to treat stations, offices and other staff locations such as depots.

Photo credit: Govia Thameslink Railway