UK: Following the government’s announcement of a third national lockdown in England, London to West Yorkshire and Sunderland open access operator Grand Central said it would be suspending all its services from January 9 until March 1.
‘It is hugely disappointing for us to be starting 2021 by removing our trains from the communities they serve’, said a spokesperson for the Arriva-owned operator on January 5. ‘However, even before Monday’s government announcement of a total lockdown, the impact of tightening tier restrictions and ongoing engineering work on the East Coast Main Line had caused a major drop in passenger demand for January and February.
‘As an open access operator, relying exclusively on income from ticket sales, it’s clear we would best serve the needs of our business and our staff and passengers, by taking a period of hibernation.
‘We are currently planning to return on March 1 and our services will remain open for bookings to travel from that date. Meanwhile we will continually monitor the national situation and provide updates through our usual communication channels. We may return sooner if the lifting of restrictions allows.’
Train crews and some support staff will be furloughed.