Pensioners and disabled passengers who are members of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme can now use their local train service for free before 9.30am after London Northwestern Railway lifted ticket restrictions.
With many supermarkets across the network reserving the first hour of the day for vulnerable shoppers, the rail operator is playing its part by allowing pass holders to travel for free at any time.
The move comes as London Northwestern Railway begins running a revised timetable from today (Monday 23 March) in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
From today, just over half the usual number of trains will operate on the routes served by LNR and sister company West Midlands Railway.
Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said: “Although demand for rail travel has significantly dropped following the government recommendation to only travel if necessary, we know that some vulnerable passengers will rely on our services to keep moving.
“With supermarkets now inviting elderly and disabled customers to visit their stores at opening time, we are playing our part by lifting the 9.30am restriction for concessionary pass holders at a time when commuter numbers are low.
“I would remind passengers who do need to travel to check their journeys before setting out as we are now operating a reduced timetable until further notice.”
Concessionary pass holders do not need a new pass to travel for free before 9.30am and can simply show their usual pass if requested.
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 80 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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