More people on the trains – but East Anglia’s commuters staying away from London

Greater Anglia is seeing few commuters heading to London's Liverpool Street Station. Picture: GREATE

Greater Anglia is seeing few commuters heading to London's Liverpool Street Station. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

The number of passengers on the region’s trains is starting to increase again as more people start to return to their workplaces or schools and colleges – but the London commuters seem to still be staying away.

Greater Anglia has brought back more trains on to its routes today – but there has been little change for most travellers in this part of the region because most lines had normal services brought back in July.

There are only a few of the fast express trains between Norwich, Ipswich and London and a small Number of other Intercity services that are not operating in this part of the region.

The latest service reinstatements have been on Stansted Express trains between Liverpool Street and the airport.

A spokeswoman said that Greater Anglia was now running 93% of its pre-Covid services and 95% of commuter trains. The number of passengers had risen from less than 5% during the height of the lockdown to between 25% and 30% of previous numbers now – but that varied on different routes.

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She said: “The number of passengers travelling through Liverpool Street during rush hours really hasn’t changed this week at all – it is still very low. But elsewhere there is a steady rise – although the numbers are still low enough that is still perfectly possible to observe social distancing rules while travelling by train.

“I took a train from Ipswich to Cambridge and there were a number of young people on that heading to school or college at different points of the journey. But there was always space for social distancing.”

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Greater Anglia has repeated its messages emphasising what it is doing to make sure trains are given a deep clean as often as possible – and it has issued a new video to show what it is doing to make sure its services are safe.

The government is trying to persuade commuters to go back to their usual workplaces and ministers are trying to bring civil servants back to their normal workplaces on at least one day a week in a bid to give a boost to city centre businesses that have been suffering from lack of customers.

And rail companies are also waiting to hear what kind of government support they will receive when the Emergency Management Agreements signed in March expire later this month.

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