Train operator warns it ‘can’t guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a journey’


ScotRail has warned that social distancing for its passengers cannot be guaranteed “at all stages of a journey”.

The train operator has implemented some measures in a bid to make journeys safer, but it has told passengers that they “must take personal responsibility for their travel choices” as they can’t “guarantee physical distancing” will be possible at all stages of a journey.

The warning has come as face coverings become mandatory on all public transport in England from Monday. The Scottish Government has as yet to implement such a rule.

From Monday ScotRail will be restoring more services to its timetable. Rolling stock will be equipped with additional signage to help maintain safe distances and capacity will be significantly reduced. An eight-car Class 385 train used on Glasgow-Edinburgh serves will have space for just 80 people rather than more than 500.

The train operator has warned that buying a ticket from the station may take longer due to social distancing and that customers should try and by a ticket online. Hand sanitiser units have also been installed at stations.

ScotRail is publicising it’s ‘five rules for safer travel’. They include requesting passengers don’t travel if they feel unwell, avoiding peak periods and wearing a face covering.

David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: “Since the start of this pandemic, our staff across Scotland’s Railway have done a fantastic job. We are incredibly proud of their efforts to help customers travel safely.

“Providing hand sanitiser is the latest measure to keep people safe, but our message to customers remains the same: people should only travel if it is essential.

“For those who do travel, Scotland’s Railway cannot guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a journey because we only have a limited amount of capacity. That’s why following our five rules for travel is vital, particularly on face coverings. We need everyone to take personal responsibility for their travel choices.

“There have been changes to our daily routine in everything we do, and the railway is no different.”

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