Press release -
GTR provides safe travel tips for students returning to school and college
Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern trains, is reminding schoolchildren and college students to travel safely in the new academic year.
Top tips for safer travel include:
- Wear a face covering
- Wash or sanitise your hands before and after each journey
- Use our pay-as-you-go KeyGo smartcard to ‘tap in, tap out’ or buy your ticket online ahead of travel
- Plan ahead and check before you travel:
- sign up for personalised journey alerts 'Alert Me' at nationalrail.co.uk
- Consider others – remember some people are exempt from face coverings and not all disabilities are visible
- Maintain your social distance wherever possible
GTR added hundreds more trains to its daily schedule, primarily for commuters, in July and will now be providing some additional trains, further stops and longer services in key areas from 7 September to coincide with the start of the new academic year. These changes came after GTR contacted over 600 schools and colleges from across its network in a bid to understand their requirements.
Chief Operating Officer Steve White said: “Our team are looking forward to welcoming passengers back on our railway.
“After extensive discussion with schools and colleges our latest timetable better meets the needs of students as they return for the new academic year. The pay-as-you-go feature of the Key smartcard (KeyGo) will also be able to accept students’ railcards across the network. These improvements will help students and commuters avoid the need to queue for tickets.
“Please remember: you must wear a face covering and you should always wash or sanitise your hands before, and after, every journey. Use contactless, plan ahead and check our websites to see which trains are highlighted as busy.”
Extra staff will be on hand to help and, as part of GTR’s travel safely pledge, Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern have a range of social distancing measures in place and an enhanced cleaning regime at stations and on trains as well as 1,000 touch-free hand sanitisers.
GTR are planning to deliver more improvements in December.
More than 30 changes have been made to the timetable in response to contacts made with schools and colleges, including longer trains, extra station stops and new services.
GTR continues to be affected by coronavirus which prevents it from running a full service, however there is sufficient capacity operating to accommodate a significant increase in passenger demand.
A new feature allows people to buy weekly, monthly or annual season tickets through the train firms’ mobile app and then tap this to their Key smartcard to load it up - information here.
The pay-as-you-go feature of the Key smartcard (KeyGo) will also be able to accept students’ railcards (16-17 Saver, 16-25 Railcard, 25-30 Railcard) across the network. These improvements will help students and commuters avoid the need to queue for tickets.
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