Weekend trains could be cancelled ahead of Euro final as rail staff expected to self-isolate
People hoping to travel on Northern Rail services this weekend could be left disappointed, as last minute cancellations and fewer services are expected with conductors being forced to self-isolate.
Train bosses have warned those hoping to travel this weekend that they should expect cancellations and reduced services, as increasing numbers of rail staff have been told to isolate via the Track and Trace app.
Rail operator Northern, which runs services from stations across Lancashire and the North West, is now asking customers to check before they travel this weekend, as the company continues to feel the impact of coronavirus.
It will be running a reduced frequency of services, with short notice cancellations expected after many conductors and drivers were either diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to self-isolate last weekend.
Customers are encouraged to find alternative methods of travel where they can, and are being asked to expect busier services on Sunday night, particularly in larger towns and cities, following the Euro 2020 Final between England and Italy.
'Only a handful' of usual services will be running, leaving football supporters potentially left without their usual routes home.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “Last weekend was difficult because of the impact of coronavirus, and the situation has not improved this week.
"The decision to change our train plan has not been taken lightly and, in doing so, we have had to balance the demand for services with our realistic ability to provide a reliable and punctual service for our customers.
"We have opted to reduce frequency so we can maintain a service on most of our routes and keep customers on the move.
“Of course, many people will want to support England and will be travelling to pubs and bars to watch the match.
“With kick off at 8 pm with a reduced number of services and possible short notice cancellations, that only leaves a handful of trains on our key routes after the match to get people home and we’re asking our customers to plan ahead and to use all available services or alternative methods of travel.
"We’ll have buses on standby in many places to assist, but customers can help by staggering their journeys and not all waiting for the last train home."
Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions at the Rail Delivery Group said: “Companies are working hard to keep passengers safe on the move as restrictions ease and more people travel to work or to see friends and family.
"As cases increase more rail employees could be pinged by the NHS contact tracing app and be asked to self-isolate.
"While train companies are doing everything they can to minimise any disruption, there may be an impact on services so we are asking people to check before they travel using app alerts which were upgraded during the pandemic as part of our safer travel pledge.”
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