East Midlands Railway (EMR) and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), both of whom operate services from Bedford station, have announced that they will impose revised timetables from Monday (23 March).
This is part of the national scheme, agreed between the rail industry and the Government, to reflect reduced demand and ensure vital train services for key workers can continue to run throughout a prolonged coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
This timetable will remain in place until further notice and will be kept under constant review. This will ensure it continues to match the demand of passengers who still need to travel as well as the ability of rail staff to deliver the services and rail infrastructure itself.
Steve White, Chief Operating Officer, GTR, said: “This is an unprecedented situation for everyone and we – together with the rest of the rail industry – are doing our utmost to keep an essential service running for key workers who are doing such vital jobs.
“The message from the Government is clear – travel only if you have to. The changes we are making should allow us to sustain a timetable for those who absolutely have to travel such as doctors, nurses and the emergency services. We want to thank them and our own staff, who are working so hard to keep trains running.”
Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said, “This is not a decision we take lightly, however implementing these measures now will mean that we can continue to operate trains over a prolonged period with fewer railway workers, who like so many others are to be commended for putting the needs of the country first, and whose safety remains front of mind.”