As we continue to navigate through life with Covid-19 amongst us, it is encouraging to see the progress being made and some ‘green shoots’ of normality becoming visible.
Thank you to all of you who have understood the challenges Covid-19 presents when running a train service and have worked with us to follow the new and emerging ways in which we now travel.
These new requirements are based on advice from government and world health organisations, and are designed to limit the risk of transmitting Covid-19 and reduce the infection rate. As we know and have seen in some areas around the UK, reducing the infection rate requires everyone to play their part. If we don’t and infection rates increase, we are likely to see further lockdown restrictions imposed by government.
We must all play our part and respect each other as we start to return to what is commonly referred to as our ‘new normal’, with shops and other public facilities reopening
We’re looking forward to welcoming you back on board. In preparation we’ve been working hard over the past few months to make our trains and stations as safe as possible. If you’ve not travelled with us for while, you’ll notice a few changes around stations and trains. There are lots of signs and information around walkways, with one-way systems in place and hand sanitiser in many areas. These features are for your convenience and safety and also for the safety of our people who are courageously working hard to keep services moving and to be available to assist you when you need it
Based on the latest government guidance, there are a few details you need to be aware of to help you with your travel experience:
- Face coverings are mandatory when travelling. Please note that in Wales this must be a ‘3-layer’ covering (or higher specification) e.g. disposable surgical masks. If you’re travelling through both Wales and England, then it is best to use a 3-layer option as this will be compliant on all parts of our network.
Please note that medical exemptions can apply, so you may encounter some people not wearing a face covering; however, this is expected to be low numbers.
- So that you can keep your mask on, we ask that you don’t eat or drink unless for a medical reason. Similarly we ask that you limit the use of mobile phones to essential reasons only.
- You’ll see our trains are clearly marked out for social distancing and we ask you to please respect this – it for your safety.
- We are moving to a reservation service for many of our services to help us control numbers. With that in mind, we are also monitoring and limiting the number of passengers who can travel on each train, so occasionally it may not be possible to board the train you would like.
- Check in advance and plan plenty of time for your journey whenever you can.
- Our busier stations have a one-way system in place to help maintain social distancing. Please check the signs before taking your normal route.
- All our trains and stations have extra cleaning regimes in place, together with hand sanitiser in various locations. Please wash your hands regularly; it is a simple and effective protection measure.
- Please use a contactless payment method where possible to buy your tickets.
Despite Covid-19 we’re still working hard to improve your railway and we have many investment projects underway.
For example new contactless ticket machines, Smartc/smartcardard technology and additional cycle storage, all progressing alongside a host of other improvements. You may see contractors out and about at your local station, they will be working safely with new regulations as we strive to improve your customer experience for current and future generations.
I know that in normal circumstances many of these measures would seem strange and unnecessary, however, these are not normal times. We all need to pull together to thrive as a society, whilst putting the safety of each other at the forefront of all that we do.
Please respect these measures, they are there to protect us all.
Finally, please show our hardworking railway colleagues the respect they deserve. We’re not enforcement officers, we are here to help, advise and provide you with a train service.
By working with us, we can focus on getting you from A to B safely.