Press release -
GTR offering support and reassurance for customers travelling in lockdown
- With the UK back in lockdown, Govia Thameslink Railway will retain train service levels
- GTR shares top tips for safe travel for those continuing with daily commutes
- New technology and information is on hand to help passengers plan their journeys
During the country’s second national lockdown, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is reminding customers of its top safe travel tips and about the wealth of information available to help them plan their journeys.
This is especially important for the key workers travelling on GTR’s services each week - which serves more than 50 hospitals across the network - as well as schoolchildren, university and college students, and workers from other industries that are continuing to operate during lockdown. In order to support social distancing on-board, service levels will be retained during the four week lockdown period.
Additionally, customers have information at their fingertips to help plan their travel and feel reassured on their way to work or school, including:
- The ‘How Busy is my Train’ webpages on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern (linked below) which offer tips and advice on when specific stations and routes are usually the busiest, helping customers identify the easiest times to socially distance
- Online journey planers on the National Rail Enquiries website now show information on services which get busy via the yellow ‘service status’ pop ups and busy trains appearing with a yellow warning triangle
- ‘Passenger Connect’ which travellers can sign up to through the National Rail Enquiries website to receive personalised, real-time push notifications about their journey and how busy their service is
- Dedicated Covid-19 advice and guidance pages providing easy tips to keep safe as your travel and to demonstrate all the work done to protect passengers and staff (linked below)
GTR has been using technology behind-the-scenes too by building new apps throughout the pandemic. These include a social distancing app which colleagues update the latest capacity information on-board or at their station and a location cleaning app that identifies when trains and key touchpoints were last cleaned with a viruscide.
Colleagues have also filmed a video charting their Top Ten safe travel tips, which range from using your elbow to open the door to avoiding eating or drinking on the train to help keep your mask fully in place.
Steve White, Chief Operating Officer at GTR said, “Throughout the first lockdown, our railway teams worked tirelessly to keep key workers moving and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all passengers. Now, in this second national lockdown, our enhancing cleaning regimes, social distancing measures , smart ticketing solutions and travel information are all in place and our teams stand ready to support everyone who needs to travel.”
GTR’S TOP TEN TIPS FOR TRAVELLING:
- Do not travel if you feel unwell or have any symptoms of Covid-19
- Please wear a face covering when you are travelling on the train and ensure you sanitise your hands before and after travelling
- Use contactless payment as much as you can or switch to the Key smartcard – this means that you can avoid going to the ticket office and/or machines as much as possible
- If you can, try and stagger your journey and avoid the morning and evening peaks
- We’re keeping our trains clean but every little action can help – how about using your elbow to open the door button to keep your hands clean
- Please try to avoid eating and drinking on board – you’re best to keep your face covering securely in place for your whole journey
- When taking the escalator, please stand on the right, do not walk down on the left and leave a few steps in between yourself and the person in front to allow for a gap
- Try boarding at the front or end of the train as there may be more space
- Please do your best to keep your distance from other travellers, let’s all help each other
- To help keep you and everyone around you safe, follow social distancing guidance at stations and advice from our friendly station staff
GTR is supporting social distancing with a wide range of measures:
- One-way and queuing systems at the busiest stations, with 19,000 floor signs across the network, 25,000 train signs, posters, adverts and announcements to remind people to socially distance
- 1,000 touch-free hand sanitiser points have been put in at stations
- A staff app has been developed to monitor passenger volumes and movements to identify ‘hot spots’ across the network – it uses data from trains, ticket sales, ticket gates, and from staff seeing where social distancing may not be being observed. This can also be used to modify services where possible
- To keep passengers and staff safe, there is an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points:
- All 2,700 train carriages are sanitised every night
- GTR has treated all its trains with a powerful long-lasting viruscide which sticks to surfaces and kills viruses.
- This product is also being used to treat stations, offices and other staff locations such as depots.
- GTR’s route-specific Coronavirus information, including the ‘How Busy is my Train’ checker, can be found here:
- Southern: https://www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/coronavirus-information
- Great Northern: https://www.greatnorthernrail.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/coronavirus-information
- Thameslink: https://www.thameslinkrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/coronavirus-information
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria