GWR reveals the region’s busiest routes as it reminds people to wear a face covering

Wednesday 24th June 2020

New data published today by GWR reveals the region’s busiest train routes, as the rail operator reminds people to avoid peak times where possible, that customers need to wear a face covering when travelling in England, and strongly advises wearing them in other parts of the network.

Suburban branch lines are proving to be the most in demand, with passenger numbers increasing by 50% compared to two weeks ago.

The data comes as train operators predict an increase in passenger numbers with expected good weather due this week.

The top five routes* include:
  • Paignton to Exmouth
  • Cornish mainline, Plymouth to Penzance
  • Bristol to Taunton
  • Falmouth branch line, Falmouth Docks to Truro
  • North Downs Line
*Routes derived from passenger count data where an individual train service has shown to be over-subscribed.

GWR is asking customers to do all they can to follow social distancing guidance and acknowledges that this is difficult on public transport.
The train operator is asking customers to:
  • Wear a face covering
  • Plan ahead – check train times in advance
  • Avoid peak travel times
  • Buy tickets online, on Smart card or download to a mobile device
To minimise risks customers are also asked to wash their hands prior to and after their journey, and hand-sanitiser has been made available at GWR’s main stations. To help those who do need to travel avoid contact, food and drink will not be sold on board.

GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton said:

“We are doing everything we can to carry as many people, safely, as we can.

“But please do help us by planning ahead, travelling, where possible, at quieter times, and wear a face covering to keep yourself and our staff safe. It is also important to remember that not everyone is able to wear a face covering for health or other reasons, and those reasons aren’t always visible, so please be considerate to others travelling.”

The company says it is doing everything it can to help those who do need to travel to keep to social distancing guidance but warns that it will not be possible at all points of the journey.

GWR has also introduced a ‘counted seat’ system for reservable services, where they restrict the number of reservations available on specific trains. Customers are not provided with a specific seat number to avoid people looking for their seat once on board.

Notes to editors
Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR is a FirstGroup company.