Train services could be cut by 60 per cent in bid to slash costs during lockdown

TRAIN services could be cut by up to 60 per cent to slash costs in this lockdown, officials say.

Transport chiefs are finalising plans to introduce an emergency timetable that cuts service levels to between 50 and 60 per cent to around Sunday levels for around three months.

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A Department for Transport (DfT) spokeswoman said it will work with operators in the next few days to "assess the right level of service provision".

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for the Rail Delivery Group which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: "Rail companies played an important role keeping key workers moving and supermarkets stocked during last year's lockdowns.

"We are working closely with the Government to ensure we run the right level of services to do so again.

"By increasing cleaning and providing better customer information, our people are ensuring that those who must travel can do so with confidence."

A DfT spokeswoman said: "We will work with operators in the coming days to assess the right level of service provision as we have done throughout the pandemic.

"While we cannot predict the long-term effect of Covid-19 on travel patterns, it is critical that we ensure the railway can respond quickly to changes in passenger demand whilst supporting economic recovery.”

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