With COVID-19 cases falling and more staff being available Merseyrail is to increase the frequency of its services from later this month. Tony McDonough reports
Train operator Merseyrail is to increase the frequency of its services from later this month with cases of COVID-19 continuing to fall and more staff become available.
During the latest lockdown, Merseyrail has been running 30-minute services across its Northern and Wirral lines. From Sunday, March 14, trains will run every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday until 7.30pm.
The only exception will be services between Liverpool and Ellesmere Port which will continue to operate on a 30-minute frequency. After 7.30pm a 30-minute service will run across the network. There will also be a 30-minute service in operation on Sundays.
Merseyrail is continuing to remind passengers that they must follow Government-issued advice and only travel for work if essential or for other legally permitted reasons. Those who do need to travel are encouraged to adhere to the following guidance when travelling:
- Avoid peak travel if you can (between 07:00-09:30 and 16:00-18:30).
- Allow extra time for your journey.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times at stations or on trains, unless exempt. Maximum fines of £6,400 can be issued by British Transport Police for those refusing to comply.
- Use contactless payments where possible.
- Wash or sanitise hands as soon as possible before and after travel.
- Remain seated where you can.
- Maintain social distancing where possible .
- Follow advice from staff and be considerate to other passengers.
- Do not use public transport if you, or a member of your household, has COVID-19 symptoms or you have been instructed to self-isolate.
- Aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
Andy Heath, managing director of Merseyrail, said: “As schools prepare to reopen across the region, we are pleased to be able to increase services on our network again due to an improvement in staff availability.
“While this will be welcome news to the people of the Liverpool city region, I must reiterate government advice that public transport is for essential journeys only at this moment in time.
“For those who need to travel, please be assured that our safety measures – such as increased cleaning – will continue as a priority to keep passengers and staff as safe as possible.”
Full timetable information and COVID-19 travel advice can be found by clicking here.