During this coronavirus pandemic, not everyone works in No10 and can just drive to Barnard Castle when they fancy a day out.
But as lockdown measures are eased, and there’s a gradual return to work for some, railway operators are keen for any undertaking a daily, or even a weekly, commute into central London to understand how they can help keep themselves and others safe in the “new normal”.
While the advice is clear that people should still consider whether their journey is necessary and must wear a face covering when travelling, inevitably many will be nervous about the prospect of heading on to public transport.
To help ease customer concerns, Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern (operated by Govia Thameslink Railway – GTR) has created a short infomercial to demonstrate the small things we can all do to stay safe.
Anyone rolling up for the first time in three months at East Croydon, Norwood Junction, West Croydon or any one of the area’s usually busy commuter stations will notice some differences to the way things were before the end of March.
GTR has introduced one-way and queuing systems at the busiest stations, with tens of thousands of new signs on the floors of stations and on trains, plus posters, ads and announcements to remind people to socially distance. There are 1,000 touch-free hand sanitiser points at stations.
A staff app has been developed to monitor passenger numbers and movements to identify “hot spots” across the network, using data from trains, ticket sales, ticket gates, and from staff seeing where social distancing may not be being observed. This can also be used to modify services where necessary.
There is also an enhanced cleaning regime focused on touch points, with all 2,700 train carriages are sanitised every night, using what they call “a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing viruses for up to 30 days”. This product – which Inside Croydon understands is called Zoono – is also being used to treat stations, offices and other staff locations such as depots.
“Throughout the coronavirus lockdown, the teams at Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern have been working solidly to keep key workers moving and now, as restrictions ease, they are again working effortlessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all passengers,” said GTR’s chief operating officer, Steve White.
“While we are doing our bit, we ask all our passengers to consider the safety of others and follow our top tips and where possible stagger their journey as much as possible to help everyone stay safe.”
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