Govia Thameslink Railway has now published details of its revised timetable for Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services from Sunday 17 May as the railways start to increase services now that the government is urging those who can’t work from home to return to their employment. The Gatwick Express remains temporarily suspended, although rolling stock may be used to support Southern services.
The company is at pains to remind passengers to:
- Only use public transport if there is no alternative;
- Follow the latest government advice on how to travel safely;
- Manage social distancing, meaning passengers may have to queue and should allow extra time.
Government advice sets out that, if people cannot work from home and have to travel for work, they should first consider alternatives to public transport. For those who have to use public transport, the guidance for passengers on how to travel safely recommends:
- Keeping two metres apart from others wherever possible;
- Wearing a face covering of some sort;
- Using contactless payment where possible;
- Avoiding rush hour travel where feasible;
- Washing or sanitising hands before and after travel;
- Following advice from staff and being considerate to others.
To help maintain social distancing, some extra services will be running and passengers may be asked to queue to enter some larger, busier stations. The operator therefore advises that people leave extra time for their journeys.
Steve White, GTR’s chief operating officer, said: “Please listen to the latest government advice and only travel if you have no other alternative.
“We ask that customers work with us by respecting the requirements for social distancing and personal hygiene so that we can help everyone who needs to travel or who is working on the railway stay safe and well.
“I would like to thank our own key worker colleagues who have shown great fortitude in keeping the railway running and supporting our passengers who must travel.”
John Halsall, managing director of Network Rail’s Southern region, added: “We’re so proud of the role we’ve played with GTR in keeping people in the South East moving through this crisis and this next step is just as much of a challenge for us both.
“Our station teams are working closely on plans to keep passengers and staff safe as we see more people coming back to work and we will be watching passenger numbers carefully to adapt the way we manage trains and stations.”