Trains get busy as day-trippers head to Suffolk and Essex coastal resorts
PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 August 2020
The hot weather of the last two weeks has attracted more people on to some Greater Anglia trains than at any time since the lockdown was brought in during the middle of March.
Some trains to coastal resorts like Felixstowe and Clacton have been nearly full with passengers struggling to observe social distancing advice from the government – but Greater Anglia officials have said they do give advice to travellers about which trains are likely to be busiest.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “On the hottest days we have seen more travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe – it is mainly on the mid-morning trains and some of those have been rather full.
“But if you avoid them – and they are flagged up on our website – there should not be any problem.”
The likely demand for seats was a factor borne in mind by train planners deciding whether to send a three or four-carriage unit out on a particular route – but whatever was allocated there was much more space than there was last year.
The spokeswoman said: “Last year we were mainly running one and two-car trains on our regional routes. Now they are all three or four carriages with a significant increase in capacity.”
On the line from Colchester to Clacton there are even longer trains which have been busy during the mornings. And Greater Anglia has also seen increased numbers of passengers on its trains from Norwich to the Norfolk resorts of Sheingham/Cromer and Great Yarmouth.
Passengers are advised to take care while using public transport – and all travellers have to wear face coverings while at stations or on board trains. There are no longer any restrictions on who can use train services.
Other lines still have not seen a major increase in passengers. Many commuter trains continue to run with very few travellers as many people are continuing to work from home after the lockdown and others are able to stagger their journeys to avoid what have always been seen as the peak times.
During the lockdown the reliability of Greater Anglia’s fleet of new trains has improved – and the company is now preparing to start introducing its British-built Bomardier Aventra commuter trains on routes from London to Essex, Ipswich and Cambridge.
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