With the incoming England Lockdown, Open-Access operators Grand Central and Hull Trains are to pause their operations.
Grand Central operates services from London Kings Cross to Sunderland and Bradford Interchange, whilst Hull Trains operates services from London Kings Cross to Hull Paragon and Beverly.
The move by both train companies follows the same move they made during the first UK National Lockdown.
Grand Central states
Following the recent Government announcement that England will enter an initial four-week period of lockdown, Grand Central has made the decision to temporarily suspend all its rail services from the end of service on Friday 6th November. Customers with tickets to travel between 7th November and 2nd December can claim a full refund or change their ticket to a later date. Tickets remain on sale for trains departing from 3rd December onwards.
After careful weighing-up of our options and following discussions with the Department for Transport and trade union representatives, it’s clear that the difficult but necessary measure of taking a short period of hibernation is our only course of action. We enjoyed tremendous support from our customers after resuming services following the first national lockdown, and we thank them for their patience once again.
Hull Trains states
We are sorry to announce that Hull Trains is temporarily suspending all train services as a result of the new nationwide lockdown from 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020 until further notice.
Louise Cheeseman, managing director of Hull Trains said:
“Sadly we are reluctantly suspending all our rail services in response to the national lockdown.
“This is the second time we have temporarily suspended services and the decision has been made to safeguard the future of the business. It would be foolhardy of us to run trains when people are being asked to stay at home and our business isn’t in a position to be generating an income from passengers buying train tickets.”
If you find yourself needing to travel during the lockdown for essential purposes, you will need to use other train operators (eg, Northern, LNER) to complete your journey.
A rough time for open-access
The UK Rail model was based on “Franchised” operators (those who bid to run train operating areas) and Open Access operators, who that takes full commercial risk and buying paths on a chosen route. Of course, with Government stepping in to help the franchised operators by assuming their financial risks – they are now in effect public companies.
Which leaves Open Access operators who have brought access out in the cold, with no income arriving as they are solely reliant on ticket sales – and with no sales, there is no income. More importantly, there is no government support for these companies.
For the limited passengers who need to travel, they will need to find a new way to get from A to B.
But hopefully, you should be staying at home for the next few weeks, rather than travelling…
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