Skegness is just one of Britain’s towns and cities that will benefit from an increased number of train services after train operators increase service frequency on Sunday 16 May 2021.
For the seaside town, it will mean that services that East Midlands Railway (EMR) currently only runs to Skegness in the summer instead run throughout the year – helping to allow easier access to the much-loved holiday destination.
The timetable also includes improvements for passengers who use the EMR’s Regional services between Nottingham and Grantham – with later evening options and an improved Sunday Service with an increase in the number of calls at Aslockton, Bottesford and Radcliffe.
Will Rogers, managing director of East Midlands Railway, said: “This new timetable represents an exciting new chapter for train services in the region and will bring significant benefits to the communities we serve, such as Skegness.
“It has been an incredible team effort to put this timetable in place, especially during a period so heavily affected by COVID. That is why we are so proud to be able to launch this new timetable and, in turn, help support Skegness’ tourism, leisure and hospitality sector at a time when its needed more than ever.”
ScotRail is also adding more than 400 extra trains to its timetable, as it supports the lifting of lockdown restrictions and a return towards a more normal way of life. It means almost 2,000 trains a day will be running, which is a daily increase of 432 on the schedule announced in February.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a clear shift away from customers travelling during the morning (07:00-09:00) and evening (16:30-18:30) peaks to other times of the day. This helps spread demand and maintain physical distancing on services, and customers are encouraged to continue to plan their journey in advance, avoiding busy services where possible.
Passenger numbers are still massively down on their pre-COVID levels, however more customers are expected to begin travelling again with ScotRail because of the reduction in coronavirus controls.
“Throughout the pandemic, Scotland’s Railway has been dedicated to making sure our customers, particularly key workers, travel as safely and comfortably as possible,” said David Simpson, ScotRail operations director.
“Now we are seeing light at the end of this very long tunnel, it’s time to recognise that people will want to use trains more regularly, and our new timetable coming in tomorrow will reflect that.
“Although certain restrictions such as wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing of at least a metre will remain for now, it’s a first step in getting the rail network back to where we, and our paying customers, want it to be.”
These are just two examples as train operators around Great Britain increase service frequency as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris commented on the new timetables: “As passengers return to the railways, adding more than 2,500 daily services will help meet demand and support people in travelling safely.
“Train companies will be focusing on ensuring services are comfortable and reliable, and by providing detailed travel information passengers will be able to plan ahead, avoid busier trains and feel confident on their journey.”