Greater Anglia is reassuring people that they can return to work, school and college safely by train.
The company is now operating a near normal timetable – with a further eight services a day due to be added next week on the route between London and Stansted Airport.
From Monday 7 September, over 93 per cent of Greater Anglia’s services will be running, with over 95% of normal rush hour seating capacity provided, as a result of longer trains being in place on some services.
Most routes have a full service in operation, with only some Norwich-London Liverpool Street intercity and Stansted Express services yet to be reinstated following the easing of lockdown.
Greater Anglia has put in place extensive additional cleaning measures across its network. The company is using powerful cleaning equipment to attack germs on trains and stations in a bid to keep people safe from Covid-19.
Every single Greater Anglia carriage will soon have been cleaned with a “fogging gun” which uses a mist spray disinfectant to disinfect all surfaces – there are just a handful left to do.
The company has also bought new backpack vacuum cleaners, which clean the air as well as carpet and upholstery, and are being used to clean trains between journeys where possible, as well as overnight.
Extra cleaners are being recruited, as Greater Anglia has stepped up cleaning of trains and stations, paying particular attention to high touch areas such as push buttons, door handles and grab rails.
To double check that everything is squeaky clean, the company is also buying testing equipment to carry out random hygiene tests on trains which quickly detect if surfaces have been cleaned effectively.
This will enable the cleaning team to make sure that cleaning regimes are working and alter them if tests show they are not effective.
Signs, markings and barriers have been put up at stations to make it easier for passengers to socially distance, with one-way systems installed at some stations.
Extra people are being deployed to help at stations used by young people travelling to school or college, to help them travel safely, by observing social distancing and wearing face coverings.
Greater Anglia has written to schools with large numbers of students travelling by rail to let them know what safety precautions have been taken to protect their pupils and a blog has been produced for students to help them travel with confidence.
People can check which trains are busiest by checking on the Greater Anglia website, where routes to London Liverpool Street are given a red, amber or green status according to passenger numbers, to help people choose a less busy train in order to maximise social distancing.
Passengers must wear a face covering on Greater Anglia stations and trains, unless they are exempt, and are reminded to wash or sanitise their hands regularly and never to travel with Covid-19 symptoms.
Hand sanitiser is available at staffed stations – with a donation made to NHS charities for each litre of sanitiser used.
Martin Moran Greater Anglia commercial, customer service and train presentation director, said: “We’ve been working hard to make sure people can return to work, school or college, confident that they will be safe on our trains.
“We’ve been running the railway throughout the pandemic and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming our customers back.”