Warning of reductions in services
A senior industry source expects a reduction in train services, due to the steep decline in passenger numbers as a result of COVID-19.
“Some routes will be able to support strengthened services, while others could have a reduced service level but increased capacity through longer trains,” the source said.
“Look at the bus world - there’s social isolation in communities as services have been cut. We must avoid that. But we have to stop being purists and be businessfocused. We cannot just reinstate trains because we used to run them before.
“We could still run 80% of services, but that’s a lot of trains that could come out.”
Addressing the Transport Select
Committee hearing on November 18, Rail Minister Chris HeatonHarris told MPs: “There has been no conversation that I have had with the Secretary of State or anyone else to say that in ‘X’ period of time we will need to cut services.”
He later added: “We want to make sure that places are still connected. We have asked operators to look at where their passenger demand is and to look at what services are required to service that demand properly.
“Then we can look at whether we need to extend services or whether we can afford to run slightly fewer, or whatever it might be. We are at the early stages of trying to build that picture at the moment.”