Northern issues Saturday ‘do not travel’ advice for Cumbrian Coast
Northern is asking customers on the Cumbrian Coast Line not to travel on Saturday (3 July) as the rail operator continues to feel the impact of coronavirus.
Yesterday, Northern announced delays and short notice cancellations were expected this weekend after many conductors and drivers were either diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to self-isolate following Track and Trace notifications.
Many of the affected staff are based in Barrow and Workington, and the situation has worsened today (Friday) leading Northern to cancel all Saturday services on the Cumbrian Coast line.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We were already expecting this weekend to be difficult because of the impact of coronavirus, but the number of staff affected in Cumbria has risen significantly and we’ve had to take the difficult decision to cancel all services on the Cumbrian Coast line on Saturday.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and, in doing so, we’ve had to balance the demand for services with our realistic ability to provide a reliable and punctual service for our customers.
“At the moment we expect services to return on Sunday, albeit with a risk of short notice cancellations, but our message for Saturday is ‘do not travel’.”
On Saturday there will also be planned cancellations on services between Barrow and Manchester Airport, while many Lancaster – Morecambe services will be removed. On Sunday, all Dalesrail services will also be cancelled.
Northern is also advising customers to expect busier services on Saturday night, particularly in larger towns and cities, following the Euro 2020 quarter final between England and Ukraine.
The rail operator is asking those planning to travel on Saturday night to think carefully about their journeys and not to wait until the last train home.
Chris added: “Of course, many people will want to support England and will be travelling to pubs and bars to watch the match.
“With kick off at 8pm, that only leaves a handful of trains on our key routes after the match to get people home and we’re asking our customers to plan ahead and to use all available services. We’ll have buses on standby in many places to assist, but customers can help by staggering their journeys and not all waiting for the last train home.”