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Northern closes all waiting rooms in response to coronavirus outbreak

Northern closes all waiting rooms in response to coronavirus outbreak

by Henry James (March 2020)

NORTHERN has until further notice closed all waiting rooms at their stations in response to the coronavirus outbreak to “help protect passengers and staff”.

This follows advice from government and is in-line with action taken by train operators across the country.

In the event of bad weather Northern will review situation and may look to re-open waiting areas if appropriate.

All gatelines at stations managed by Northern are now fully open, meaning passengers do not have to pass paper or season tickets through the barriers or present them to staff.

Northern has also suspended the issuing of penalty fares until further notice.

Customers will still require a ticket to travel and should buy before they board from stations, ticket machines, and online via the web (www.northernrailway.co.uk) or Northern’s mobile app.

Northern is only accepting card payments at the moment – cash payments can only be made at a small number of ticket machines.

Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “Our trains and stations remain open for business to help key workers get where they need to be across the north of England.

“For those who have to make essential journeys – and for our staff who continue to work across the network – we want to make the railway as safe as possible.

“The measure we have introduced today further limit person-to-person contact and help staff and passengers follow the advice from government on social distancing.

“Though we have closed waiting rooms and opened gatelines, our ticket offices remain open to provide help and advice to passengers. We will, however, only accept payment via card (chip and pin or contactless). Customers who want to pay by cash will be asked to use ticket machines if they are available.”

Mark added: “These are unprecedented times for the rail industry and everyone at Northern would like to thank our customers for their continued patience and understanding as we continue to work to keep the region’s key workers on the move.”

Northern continues to operate an amended timetable for key workers and essential travel only – the majority of people are asked to follow government guidance and stay at home.

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