Train companies and police warn against all non-essential travel over Easter
The British Transport Police and rail operators Northern and TransPennine Express have launched a joint campaign reminding people it's not acceptable to use trains for leisure activities this weekend.
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the government has said only essential journeys should be made to help slow the spread of the disease.
Train operators have introduced amended timetables to help key workers get from A to B and to help those whose journeys are essential.
But, last weekend, with the arrival of good weather, passenger numbers in some areas rose dramatically as some people ignored the advice and headed for the coast and beauty spots.
Now, the regional campaign will urge people to stay away from the railway, stay at home and help to save lives.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “Our amended timetables are designed to provide support for those who have to make essential journeys. At the moment, our services should not be used for leisure travel and those doing so are putting themselves – and others – at risk of spreading infection.
“We are working hard to keep the railway running which, in turn, is helping key workers provide the valuable services we all rely on. We now need our passengers to follow government guidance and, where possible, stay at home.”
Superintendent Glen Alderson of the British Transport Police said: “This Easter weekend our officers will be carrying out the role they do every day, which is saving lives. We will have a deployment of officers patrolling stations across the rail network, supporting staff and reminding the public of the urgent need to follow the government advice, including an increased presence at stations popular with leisure travel – only those making essential journeys should be using the rail network.
“Millions of people have been playing their part in protecting the NHS and their loved ones by not using rail services. I urge the public to keep doing the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.”
Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director for TransPennine Express, commented: “We’d like to thank everyone who is staying home through these extraordinary times and by doing so, helping protect the NHS. We are continuing to run our amended timetable to ensure that key workers from across our region can get to where they need to be.
“The weather is improving and bank holidays are fast approaching, but this is no excuse to ignore government guidelines and travel on our services. Please stay at home and help stop the spread of this virus.”