Northern look to reintroduce key routes back into service

Northern look to reintroduce key routes back into service

by Henry James (April 2021)

NORTHERN is preparing to change its timetables with the aim of giving people returning to rail travel more flexibility.

The train operator has been running reduced timetables since the January lockdown, but is now reintroducing services on some key routes to help customers ‘get where they need to be’.

Northern - alongside other operators - continues to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the new timetables reflect the challenges faced by the rail industry and the changing demands of customers, many of whom may be seeking holidays in the UK or returning to workplaces for the first time in several months.

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “We have brought in as many additional services as possible, with the resource we have available, and have prioritised routes and times where there is the most significant demand.

“The timetables we will introduce on May 16 have been designed to provide as many services as possible, at the times our customers need them, without risking punctuality and reliability.

“We want our customers to have confidence in the service we are offering and our plan will give those customers the stability they deserve.”

The approach does, however, mean that some routes will not see any enhancements as part of the new timetables and, on a handful of routes there will be a reduction in services.

Some services may also be busier than Northern customers have been used to in recent months and so anyone planning to return to the railway is asked to plan ahead and, where possible, travel at quieter times of day.

He added: “We need our customers to work with us and to think carefully about their journeys as we steadily return to a more normal timetable.”

Meanwhile, Northern continues to take additional steps to make the railway as safe as possible. Extra cleaning is being carried out on trains and at stations and the operator is asking customers to travel during less busy times where possible. Face coverings are mandatory (aside from those with specific exemptions) on all trains and at stations.

Northern’s new timetables can be found online via the Northern website or at www.nationalrail.co.uk

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