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Train operator CrossCountry has announced that, from Monday 6 July, it will run longer trains to provide more space on board and resume services to places not connected to its long-distance network for many months.
The further easing of lockdown restrictions by the Government means more people are expected to travel by train. To meet this demand, CrossCountry will operate eighteen trains each day formed of two coupled together across its core routes to provide up to twice the normal capacity. There will also be four additional return services between Birmingham and Newcastle each day to help this busy route. As well as extra space on board, Penzance, Paignton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stansted Airport will also see daily services return, reconnecting them to the wider CrossCountry network. In total, from July 6 CrossCountry will operate 85% of its normal daily seating capacity compared to around 55% in March.
Although the Government is reducing the distance people are expected to maintain from others to one metre where additional protections are available, as the numbers travelling increases more time needs to be allowed at stations for people to board and alight trains if this distance is to be maintained. To achieve this while also maintaining the national railway timetable, a small number of stations will see their CrossCountry services reduced or withdrawn to allow additional time at the more heavily used stations. Where this happens, care has been taken to ensure other train services are available so people can still travel, although a change of train may be necessary for some journeys.
Commenting on the changes, CrossCountry’s Managing Director, Tom Joyner, said: “As we emerge from lockdown people want to resume travelling by train as the fastest and easiest way to move around the country. While social distancing remains a requirement, we are pleased to provide almost a third more capacity on many trains than we could in March, meaning people can be confident they can travel with us in comfort and safety. And with towns and cities that have not been served by us for many months again seeing daily services, the CrossCountry rail network is again open for business. ”
Notes to Editors:
CrossCountry’s network is the most geographically-extensive passenger rail franchise in Britain. Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff, it calls at over 100 stations. Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of the Britain’s 10 largest cities and delivers 298 services every weekday, equating to some 40 million passenger journeys a year.
CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe. Arriva employs over 53,000 people and delivers over 2 billion passenger journeys across 14 European countries each year