How do you push a railroad

Photos Network Rail.

People should consider avoiding the railroad at Christmas because the capacity of the network is severely limited, said the transport minister. Grant Shapps said the public should choose "whether to even travel by train over the Christmas season" after worries about Christmas construction and restricted seating availability to maintain social distancing.

Westminster and the decentralized administrations are preparing to announce how to ease restrictions on the coronavirus fight so people can spend Christmas together. It is expected that new measures will be agreed to allow families or different social groups to meet for a few days at the end of December, provided certain arrangements are made.

However, Mr Shapps suggested that most people should travel by private car rather than relying on intercity trains to reach friends and family.

Some long-distance train operators require passengers to book tickets with a seat reservation before boarding the trains, as the seat restrictions maintain social distance. The availability of seats has been reduced by up to three quarters in some cases.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) requires booking as a condition of boarding and Avanti West Coast "strongly recommends" purchasing a ticket in advance to guarantee travel.

Independent of this, extensive technical work is also planned over Christmas. London King's Cross - the 10th busiest long-distance train station in the country - will be completely closed between Christmas and December 30 as part of a £ 1.2 billion modernization of the East Coast Main Line.

LNER has warned that "alternative routes are likely to be heavily booked and should also be avoided". The company, which operates trains between the capital and Scotland, recommends that passengers "avoid rail travel altogether" on Christmas Eve and between December 31 and January 3, as "trains will be very busy when capacity is reduced".

Also in London Waterloo - the busiest train station in the country - there will be a "significantly reduced service" between Christmas and January 3rd due to work on the routes.

The installation of a new signal bridge will cut traffic through Bristol Temple Meads from December 27th to January 10th and there will also be work around London Liverpool Street Station.

Mr Shapps urged people to "pay very close attention to the modes of transport they are using" when planning Christmas trips. He said at the BBC breakfast: "We need to be aware that there are restrictions on the rail network, for example caused by the fact that some trains have to be booked in advance for some trains at this time to prevent overcrowding.

"So we will appeal to people to think carefully about which means of transport they are taking and of course to make a decision about whether they will travel at all. It is the reality of the situation we are in; we will try to keep the rail network running as well as possible, but I think it's worth it for people to realize that short travel times are a problem. "

On December 29, 2020, the RMT transport union called for an urgent meeting with Sir Peter Hendy, the Chairman of Network Rail, who was tasked with preparing the transport for Christmas, in order to discuss a number of operational and safety issues necessary for the Provision of services that are safe for passengers and staff alike are vital.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT is helping the railroad play its role so people can see their loved ones this Christmas and we are now urgently seeking talks with Sir Peter Hendy to ensure this is carefully and properly planned to protect the safety of both workers and passengers. We know the government has been on the move throughout the pandemic, and just three weeks before Christmas we cannot allow this sloppiness to ruin Christmas travel plans Operational and safety precautions urgently need to be discussed and agreed with the unions. "

The RMT has identified key areas that urgently need to be discussed:

• All operational plans must be discussed and agreed in advance with the trade unions in order to protect passengers and staff.
• Increased police enforcement and penalties for passengers who do not obey the rules.
• Take early action to limit passenger numbers to a safe level to avoid last-minute chaos and overcrowding.
• Clear messages and measures that health hazards for employees will not be tolerated and those responsible will be prosecuted

WKZ, Rüdiger Lüders, source The Times, RMT


Last change on Tuesday, 01 December 2020 08:40