Sharing an email I received earlier from The MD of South Western Railway.
I wanted to
write with the latest information about South Western Railway to keep people
with an interest in our business updated and informed.
the current Coronavirus outbreak, colleagues across South Western Railway have
been working hard to keep the country moving for their fellow key workers and
those that need to travel.
also been ensuring that those who do need to travel, can do so safely. For
example, when cleaning, they have been paying particular attention to commonly
touched surfaces such as ticket machines, grab handles, and door buttons.
Additionally, to reduce interaction between colleagues and customers we are not
currently accepting cash payments at our ticket offices and ticket machines and
encouraging customers where ever possible, to buy on line.
As you know,
on 10 May the Prime Minister updated the nation on the road map for coming out
of lockdown and recovering the economy. The first step along this road, which
started yesterday, was for people to return to work if they could not work from
home, meaning an increase in those using our services. However, the Prime
Minister also urged people to avoid public transport and so we were not
expecting, and have not seen, a dramatic uplift in passengers yet.
Nevertheless, I want you to be aware of the additional steps we are putting in
place to ensure that those who do need to travel, can so safely.
We are in
the process of introducing measures to promote social distancing on our
stations and trains, through posters and floor markings and vinyls, as well as
through audio announcements and digital media. While we will do everything we
can to help passengers respect social distancing; as the Government itself
acknowledges, there may be some points on a journey where it is just not
possible, such as when boarding or alighting trains.
encouraging our customers to follow the advice of Government and only travel on
our services for essential journeys where other modes of transport are not
available. Where customers do need to travel, we are asking them to plan ahead,
follow social distancing guidance where possible, follow Government advice on
face coverings, and to purchase their ticket online to reduce interaction with
that the coming days may see more customers return to work, from Monday 18 May,
we will be making some increases to capacity. Although we will still be operating
a reduced service, some routes will see services reinstated for the first time
since lockdown began, with other routes benefiting from longer services or some
extra services at peak times. Despite these improvements, with social
distancing in place, capacity will be vastly reduced, so we are urging our
customers to consider alternative means of transport for getting to work, with
our services only being used where there is no other option.
strange to find ourselves directing people away from the railway, but that is
unfortunately what we have to do at present as we try to keep both customers
and colleagues safe.
wanted to keep you updated on the progress we are making with tackling the huge
number of refund requests we have had. We have now received around 29,000
requests for refunds, and through their hard work, our refund team have
processed more than half of those requests. We are continuing to look at how we
can speed up this process to deliver passengers their refunds quicker, as we know
many of them will have seen dramatic changes to their personal circumstances
since lockdown began.
I hope the
above information is useful to you. I will of course keep you updated as the
situation develops. Thank you for your continued support.
South Western Railway