I have today, received a statement from Transport for Wales regarding their response to COVID-19. Alongside implementing a range of measures to increase safety for both customers and staff which are outlined below. TfW, along with many other UK Train operators are introducing a reduced timetable which will take effect from Monday 23rd March.
Transport for Wales have said:
"At Transport for Wales our primary focus is keeping our staff and customers safe. In line with the rest of the UK rail industry, and based on advice from public health bodies and the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), we have taken the difficult decision to reduce weekday passenger services during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It is not an easy decision, but it’s a necessary one which will allow us to match the number of services available to our reduced workforce. It means that key workers like nurses, police officers and firefighters will continue to be able to get to their jobs over the coming weeks and months. It means that freight trains will continue to deliver the goods that keep our supermarket shelves stacked and our power stations running.
Our timetable has been designed to be as resilient as possible, whilst ensuring we balance a reduction in demand, availability of our people and the need to transport critical workers.
This decision takes into account the latest public health guidance to protect customers and colleagues, and to reduce our carbon impact while fewer people are using our services during this unprecedented period.
From Monday 23 March 2020, we will implement a reduced timetable until further notice. This follows the core Sunday timetable, which consists of around 600 services per day, with the addition of services into major hubs that arrive before 0900 and services on some lines that don’t have Sunday services but are required by critical workers.
We will continue to prioritise peak periods in order to ensure we do not create overly busy travelling conditions and will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis to ensure people that need to travel during the period can still travel when absolutely necessary. Our plan will be reviewed daily with amendments made based on capacity requirements and further government guidance."
The following service will be added to the North Wales timetable: 06.28 Holyhead to Chester via Llandudno Junction
Anybody who has to travel should check the time of their train at https://tfwrail.wales before they set out. Full details of the changes will be online from midday Sunday 22nd March. We would encourage people to approach their travel planning with flexibility in mind.
The additional measures implemented will be
- Increased train and station cleaning with use of enhanced cleaning products.
- Hand sanitiser at key locations.
- Maintenance of hand washing facilities in toilets.
- Our staff are following NHS advice on hygiene and cleaning.
- Availability of contactless payments, self-service ticket machines and e-tickets on website, app and mobile devices.
- Asking passengers to buy tickets before boarding as on-train staff will prioritise other important safety and service responsibilities.
- As a precaution to limit transference, regrettably all on-train catering is suspended until further notice. However, we have donated to foodbanks so we our communities can benefit and we are not wasting needlessly.
- We have also advised our conductors to remain in the back cabs to limit transference. However, they will assist customers on and off the train as required and will make announcements on how to contact the conductor
- We are also making it easier for a passenger to change travel plans during these extreme circumstances, as this is really important to us. If a person needs to cancel a trip or change a ticket there will be no administration fees for applicable ticket types. However, there are some restriction that apply such as advance tickets and all information can be found here: https://tfwrail.wales/covid-19?_ga=2.112644102.389259097.1584375035-827269866.1547639976
- Reducing services to a resilience timetable to promote travel only when necessary.
Unfortunately this situation is having an effect on everyday life for many of us and I welcome these changes. In these unprecedented times it is so positive to see such measures being put in place to help protect public health. If you have any concerns about these changes your can contact me at email@example.com