ScotRail has issued updated guidance for passengers travelling on Scotland’s railway network as lockdown measures are set to be gradually eased.
The rail operator has echoed guidance from the Scottish Government that face coverings should be worn on public transport to help keep staff and passengers safe.
In addition, travellers should avoid main commuting times, maintain physical distancing and not use services if they feel unwell.
ScotRail has issued the updated guidance for customers following the launch of the Scottish Government Transport Guidance plan.
As part of the effort to keep key workers moving, the train operator will add a small number of daily services to the timetable from Monday, 1 June.
The extra services will deliver more options for travel during peak times and continue to deliver for key workers.
ScotRail said that the small increase in services – from 43 per cent of a normal timetable to 47 per cent – will mean there is more capacity for key workers and essential travellers to increase the opportunities for physical distancing over the coming weeks.
New measures have been introduced by the train operator in the last week with new rules for travel:
- Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature.
- Travel away from the main commuting times (0700 – 0900 and 1600 – 1830) wherever possible, as trains will be busiest around then. The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, like NHS and care home staff.
- If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.
- Wear a face mask or covering and where possible maintain physical distancing.
- Be patient. You might not be able to board your first choice of train, as physical distancing means most seats need to be left empty.
- The largest stations will have floor markings and other signs to outline a safe distance of two metres, while some station facilities such as waiting rooms will be closed, as ScotRail follows the successful model implemented by supermarkets and other businesses in recent weeks.
Platform markings and guidance at ticket vending machines will be supported by station announcements and messages on customer information screens.
Passengers are advised that buying a ticket will take longer than usual at stations, and they may not be able to use the rail services that they would normally take.
David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said: “We are asking our customers to play a very important role in keeping everyone safe by following the Scottish Government advice to cover their face while travelling.
“The message remains the same: people should only travel when it is essential to do so. We need everyone to take personal responsibility. If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.
“Adding a small number of services will provide key workers and essential travellers with more opportunities to practice physical distancing. We urge people to help us by making safe and sensible decisions.”
Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, added: “Everyone across Scotland’s Railway is working incredibly hard to provide a service for those people who need to use the train in this difficult time, and we really appreciate everything they are doing.
“Train services are having to operate in a very different way just now, so we are asking people to only travel by train if it is essential, and to follow ScotRail’s five rules for travel.”