Trains to and from Scarborough to increase from today as travel restrictions ease

Britain's train companies are gradually ramping up services from today to reflect coronavirus travel restrictions being eased.

By Corinne Macdonald
Monday, 18th May 2020, 12:11 pm
Updated Monday, 18th May 2020, 12:12 pm

From Monday May 18, TransPennine Express (TPE) will be increasing the amount of services run in their amended timetable in line with the Government’s request to increase services to enable those making essential journeys, to get where they need to be.

As of today the train operator will be operating a shuttle service between Yorks and Scarborough with additional extra services at peak times.

However, though there is an uplift in services, there are still significant restriction on capacity to help enable social distancing, with a maximum of 20 sears per carriage.

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Scarborough train station. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

TPE are also introducing seat markers to help guide customers to where they can sit.

The operator is advising customers to check before they travel and to only use public transport if there is no alternative.

Liz Collins, Interim Managing Director for TransPennine Express, commented: “From [this] week, we will begin running more services to allow key workers and those making essential journeys to get where they need to be.

“However, to adhere to social distancing, there will be a significant reduction in capacity on our services with a maximum of 20 seats available for customers per carriage. With this in mind, we would like customers to follow the Government advice and only travel on our trains if they have no alternative way of travelling.”

Northern, which operates train services out of Scarborough train station to Hull, Sheffield and Doncaster, is also reducing capacity on its trains.

It advises customers whose only option to travel is by train to buy their ticket online, respect the 2m rule, use a face covering if possible and allow extra time for their journey.

Rail services have been significantly reduced for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic but as the Government is now urging people in England who cannot work from home to return to work services are expected to rise from around 50% of the usual timetable to 70%.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group has warned space on trains will be 'extremely limited' and people should 'only travel by rail if [they] have no alternative.'

In response to the increase in services the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is calling for compulsory Covid-19 protections for both passengers and rail workers.

The union is asking for 2m distancing and face masks to be compulsory for all passengers.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “We are opposed to the early relaxation of lockdown measures and believe that non-essential workers should avoid using trains. When people absolutely must use a train there should be two new compulsory protections.

“Firstly there should be compulsory 2 metre social distancing on all trains. It is baffling that the government are telling the public to observe 2 metre social distancing in open spaces outdoors but not enforce 2 metre social distancing on trains, whose confined spaces mean there is a greater risk of infection.

“Secondly there should be compulsory wearing of face masks which should be provided for free. It is mystifying that there is a requirement for passengers on Eurostar services in the UK to wear masks but not on other UK rail services. We have the crazy situation of Eurostar passengers arriving with masks on into St Pancras but then not wearing masks when they transfer to the tube or other rail services.”

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