GWR asks for help to keep trains free for those who really need them

Friday 29th May 2020

With Government set to ease lockdown GWR asks ‘Is your journey necessary?’

The Government is expected to issue its latest easement of lockdown restrictions next week, but GWR is continuing to remind people to avoid travel by public transport wherever possible.
GWR needs your help to keep space for those who have no alternative
Social distancing guidance means that trains can only carry about a tenth of the usual number of passengers. To help those who have no alternative, the train company is asking customers to avoid the train if they can, including not using services for leisure purposes or as part of daily exercise.
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.
To help those who do need to travel GWR has introduced a ‘counted seat’ system for reservable services, where they restrict the number of reservations available on a train. Customers are not provided with a specific seat number to avoid people looking for their seat once on board.
Trains can only carry a tenth of the number of passengers
GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton said:
“With social distancing guidance in place we are able to carry as little as a tenth of the usual number of passengers, and customers are not yet able to use trains as freely as they once did.
“We are doing everything we can to carry as many people, safely, as we can. This will make sure that those who absolutely need to travel by train can do so. But I must ask you, is your journey really necessary?”
GWR is asking customers to do all they can to follow social distancing guidance and acknowledges that this is difficult on public transport. Customers should wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible.
The train operator is asking customers to:
 plan ahead – please book ahead where possible and check train times in advance
 avoid peak travel times – Travel between 10:00 – 15:00 and after 19:00 on weekdays if possible
 buy tickets online, on Smartcard or mobile
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 to avoid contact, food and drink will not be sold on board.
GWR has:
 restricted the number of reservations available on reservable trains
 added floor stickers and guidance at stations to help customers maintain the advisory distance 
 cleaned stations and trains throughout the day, every day
GWR is currently running approximately 70% of services. With predicted staff sickness the company is taking a staged approach to returning to full timetabled services. However, until social distancing guidance is eased travel should be avoided unless it is really necessary.

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.