New rail timetable set to help maintain social distancing

A new timetable for Great Northern and Thameslink passengers is set for Sunday. Picture: Nick Gill

A new timetable for Great Northern and Thameslink passengers is set for Sunday. Picture: Nick Gill - Credit: Archant

A new train timetable for Great Northern and Thameslink routes is set to be implemented from Sunday to help maintain social distancing.

The new timetable will be in place until further notice, and passengers are asked to check before travelling, use off-peak services if possible, and work from home if they can to avoid unnecessary travel.

Following the latest government guidance for passengers on how to travel safely, Govia Thameslink Railway will be running a different Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern timetable.

The introduction of a new timetable means that services and train times will change and passengers will need to check before they travel.

To increase the number of services running on the East Coast mainline, a rail replacement service will be reintroduced Monday to Saturday between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone.

The COVID-19 outbreak has delayed work on a new platform at Stevenage that would have allowed trains to run between Stevenage and Watton-on-Stone.

The 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.

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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, using contactless payment, avoiding rush hour travel where feasible and washing or sanitising your hands before and after travel.

To help maintain social distancing some extra services will be running and passengers may be asked to queue to enter some larger, busier stations.

Steve White, Govia’s chief operating officer, said: “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.”

Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast Route, said: “Our 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.”

To find out more about the changes, go to

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