Rail companies Greater Anglia and C2C, which serve passengers travelling from Ingatestone, Shenfield and West Horndon, are increasing the number of trains running from Monday 18th May.
From Monday 18 May, Greater Anglia will run an amended Saturday timetable, which sees increased frequency on the Great Eastern Main Line from Colchester, Clacton and Southend to London and the West Anglia Main Line from Cambridge to Liverpool Street. Regional lines will remain as they are currently, but the hourly Norwich to Cambridge service will now run as a direct through service to Stansted Airport again. The Norwich-London intercity service, will continue to run once an hour, but during peak periods will not call at Colchester or Chelmsford running non-stop between Manningtree and Stratford.
Passengers at Colchester will be served by three trains per hour and at Chelmsford by four trains per hour on the Great Eastern Main Line.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “Government advice is still to avoid public transport, so please only travel with us if your journey is absolutely essential. We are continuously monitoring passenger numbers to make sure customers can continue to follow Government and Public Health England guidelines on social distancing, wherever possible.
“Our top priority is that customers and staff can travel safely while the coronavirus outbreak persists. We will continue to pay particular attention to cleaning high contact areas on our trains and stations such as push buttons, door handles and grab rails.
“We would kindly encourage customers to buy tickets online or via our app. If that’s not possible then please use contactless payment.
“We have marked up our trains and stations with tape and markings to help customers to socially distance. A one door in and one door out system may be in operation on some trains or stations, please look or listen out for instructions from our staff.
“There are other ways that customers can help us to keep them safe – please consider starting or finishing work earlier or later so that not everyone is travelling at the same time. The Government is also advising people to wear a face covering when using public transport.”
The route by route frequency for the revised timetable are available on the Greater Anglia website and app.
C2C will return to a full, standard weekday timetable from next Monday, 18th May 2020. This date was agreed with Government in an industry plan jointly created with DfT over the past few weeks, and is designed to provide the largest possible step-up in capacity at the earliest deliverable date that train operators are able to do this. C2C is is also going one step further than most operators in that, to maximise the amount of capacity they provide they are also lengthening all off-peak services from 4-carriages to 8-carriages.
C2C's key messages to customers are:
· TRAVEL SAFE: Wear a face covering if you can, in line with the Government’s instructions, and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser. Also stagger your start to avoid peak times. Currently the earliest services are the busiest, so it is better to delay your journey if you must travel. In particular West Ham station is very busy between 06.30 and 07.30 so please avoid it at those times if at all possible
· TRAVEL SMART: Ticket Office opening times will be limited, so use Contactless payment or get yourself a Smartcard. By using a Smartcard you can buy your ticket online and collect it direct from the gates, which is the simplest way to maintain a safe distance at the station
· KEEP APART: Maintain your social distance when possible at stations and onboard trains. This will not always be possible on busy trains or when disembarking, but please show maximum consideration to others. This is why it is also important to follow Government advice to wear a face covering.