The changes come in on Monday, 23 November
From Monday 23 November, there will be fewer off-peak and late-night services but they will all be eight carriages to maximise the amount of space for social distancing. c2c says these services are being cut because they have the lowest demand.
c2c says passenger numbers have dropped to around 30 percent compared to the levels before the first lockdown in March. In October, the figure was 42 percent of pre-Covid levels.
“Like all businesses, coronavirus has affected our staff availability and we can no longer deliver our current timetable reliably,” read a statement from c2c. “Passenger demand has also fallen significantly in the past fortnight. Therefore we are introducing a more sustainable and resilient timetable, which should result in fewer short-notice cancellations.”
Peak time services, particularly early morning and late afternoon, will be the least affected services, as they are the busiest times of the day.
c2c also says that there will be “five successive 12-car trains now arriving in Southend between 07.20 and 08.40” to help children get to school.
The operator also says “a growing number” of staff have tested positive for Covid, been required to self-isolate due to coming into contact with others who have tested positive, or are shielding.
“We remain committed to providing you with a dependable service you can rely on,” c2c added. “Throughout 2020 we have made timetable adjustments, as both staff availability and passenger demand has fluctuated. We will continue monitoring passenger numbers closely in the coming weeks, and will make further changes as necessary.”
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