With mass-vaccination centres popping up, transportation companies are stepping up to assist. Great Western Railway is supporting this, with the train company adding an additional stop Newbury Racecourse for some of its services.
The additional station stops on trains between Paddington and Bedwyn are intended to help those travelling to the new vaccination centre established at the Racecourse and are in addition to the present hourly timetabled services between Newbury and Reading.
The move comes in response to a request by Geordie Taylor who runs Hungerford Self-Isolation Group, who first contacted GWR in the hope that more trains could be stopped at the station.
GWR will operate the extra services will from Monday 8 February. Around 17 extra services a day will serve the station.
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
“Rail continues to play a key role in providing travel for key workers during the pandemic, and now in helping to carry people to their vaccination.
“While we have taken some sensible measures to reduce our timetable during the present lockdown, this allows us to able to quickly respond to changes in demand, making sure that we can be relied upon at this time to help people travel safely and with confidence where they are able to.”
Geordie Taylor said:
“When I contacted Mark, the MD of GWR, with the suggestion that more trains should stop at Newbury Racecourse I was prepared for a polite rejection. To my surprise and to GWR’s immense credit, they not only agreed with me they also fast-tracked the initiative with Network Rail to make it happen in double-quick time.
“This minor change to a complex timetable will be a huge benefit to all residents of Hungerford and many others along the line during the vaccination programme and I tip my hat in thanks to all concerned.”
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