The rail industry has published a Safer Travel Pledge to coincide with the return of workers to many sectors but is still asking people to use public transport only if necessary.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail, said operators were adding more services from Sunday (5 July) to help employees in newly opened sectors.
It said the pledge, which will be displayed in railway stations around the country, will help people who work in pubs, cafes, hairdressers and the wider hospitality industry have confidence in their journey.
Extra services will seek to meet increased demand 'where possible', with timetables designed to prioritise more trains at peak times.
A spokesperson told Transport Network that around 4,000 trains a day have been added.
In March services across Britain were cut to 12,900 services a day (around 54% of the usual timetable) but were increased to 15,800 (66%) in May, rising to 19,800 services (83%) from this week.
The RDG’s director of nations and regions, Robert Nisbet, said: ‘While we are still asking people only to take the train if necessary, as the lockdown is eased further we are stepping up timetables and taking other steps so people can travel with confidence.
‘In return, we want people to help us by avoiding the busiest times, wearing a face covering and checking the latest train information online before setting off.’
Alongside eight things the RDG said rail companies are doing to help combat the spread of COVID-19 are ‘four ways passengers can help’.
- More trains and extra carriages in timetables
- New social distancing signs ‘so people know where to go, stay two metres apart where possible and avoid pinch points’
- ‘Powerful fog cleaning’ on trains. with trains and stations cleaned more frequently through the day
- Soap restocked more often in stations and on trains
- Vending machines for face coverings and hand sanitiser at over 150 stations
- Hand sanitiser points in over 300 stations
- New service on Messenger app alerting people to busy trains (look up National Rail on Messenger)
- Up to 2,500 extra staff available at key locations
- Travel off-peak – keep distance wherever possible and avoid the busiest times
- Wash your hands – carry hand sanitiser and wash hands before and after your journey
- Bring a face covering – ‘wear it throughout your journey, but remember that hidden disabilities and medical conditions mean not everyone can’
- Check before you travel – visit nationalrail.co.uk before setting off and sign up for alerts on the Messenger app