The Daily Telegraph
Social distancing ‘not possible on trains’
THE Government should admit social distancing on trains is “not possible”, the transport select committee chairman urged, as he warned overcrowding was frightening commuters.
Huw Merriman argued that ministers could avoid “panic” on the rail network by making travellers aware of the measures they could take to lower the risk of catching Covid-19 at busy times.
Speaking at a Railway Industry Association event at the Conservative Party conference, he said it would help improve “confidence that it’s safe rather than the current situation whereby if people are crammed on a train and all of a sudden there’s big panic because the rules have been breached”.
Mr Merriman als o questioned whether the Government had the “bandwidth” to deliver its ambitious infrastructure spending on HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The Bexhill and Battle MP suggested ministers were not being “strategic” with their commitment and said there was as yet no “complete strategy” to integrate the lines.
He added: “Of course HS2 will deliver parts of the capability for Northern Powerhouse Rail but it ’s not due to complete until almost 2040. So how do we speed those other parts up?”