Busy Greater Anglia trains cause more concern for commuters

Busy Greater Anglia train

Little social distancing is possible on peak-time trains to London. - Credit: Contributed

Greater Anglia has urged passengers to try to use less busy trains as more pictures emerged of crowding on morning commuter services to London.

The number of people travelling by train, especially at peak times, has increased steadily since the easing of lockdown two weeks ago - and a commuter who travels from Kelvedon in Essex send this picture of his busy train as it approached London.

It appears to be impossible to observe social distancing and the traveller said this kind of crowding was now a daily occurrence as trains approached London because they stopped at more stations than usual.

He said it was time for Greater Anglia to restore more peak-time services to allow people to observe more social distancing - this is the second time in recent weeks that concerns have been raised about passenger numbers.

A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: “It is possible to socially distance on the majority of our trains, but as the lockdown eases and more people start travelling, some trains – particularly early morning commuter trains – are beginning to get busier for part of the journey.

"On these trains, it may not always be possible to socially distance for the entire journey, but we have several measures in place to keep customers safe including increased cleaning and sanitisation, high levels of face covering compliance and running new, longer trains on some routes.

“We also have a less busy trains tool on our website so people can check which trains are quieter and opt to travel at a time when there are fewer other passengers – some routes also have convenient alternatives with more capacity not long before or after busier trains.

“We’re asking customers to use the entire length of platforms and trains in to maximise the opportunity to socially distance wherever possible, and to wear a face covering for the entire journey.

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"We are currently operating around 82% of our normal timetable, and customer numbers – which are about one third of pre-pandemic levels - and travel patterns are monitored every day, to inform future alterations to services.

"We have already made some changes in recent weeks to reflect emerging increases in customer numbers. We would encourage any customers with concerns to get in touch with us direct.”