Message from Southern concerning Train Travel

Southern have this week issued an update to their advice to passengers concerning travel by train. This reflects changed Government policy in that more people are now going to work, but the advice is still only to use a train when essential, and to maintain social distancing rules.

The full Southern statement reads:

“Dear David,

Continuing our support for Britain during the Coronavirus crisis, we have a plan to start to increase rail services carefully, safely and sustainably.

This follows the updated advice published by Government.

From today, services will increase to the maximum possible in the current circumstances with some staff ill, shielding or self-isolating. This means the level will be roughly that of a typical Saturday, and we are working to gradually add more over time.

However, given the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers wherever possible, the capacity to carry people on the network will be reduced to as little as 10 per cent of normal.

This means transport must operate very differently, and we need your help to keep everyone safe.

In line with new government advice, everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Trains and other public transport should be avoided wherever possible to free up the limited space available to those who have no alternative way to travel.

If you must travel by train, please follow this guidance:

• Train times and frequency have changed, so check your journey before you travel.
• Avoid peak hours and travel during quieter times if you can – usually between 10am and 3pm and after 6pm.
• Don’t stand in a queue, buy your ticket online before you set off.
• Get a mobile ticket or a Smartcard or use Contactless where possible and avoid handling paper tickets if you can.
• You may be asked to wait to enter the station or use a one-way system, so leave plenty of time for your journey
• Maintain social distancing wherever possible at stations, platforms and on trains.
• Wear a face covering, this will help protect others.
• Wash your hands before and after your journey and carry hand sanitiser with you.

Continue to follow government health guidance and do not travel if you have symptoms of the virus. If you cough or sneeze, catch it, bin it, kill it.
In turn, we are doing everything we can to maintain the cleanliness of our services.

Please be considerate to our staff and follow their instructions. Everyone is doing their best in these difficult times.

Thank you for your help and stay safe. We will continue you to update you over the coming weeks.