UK: Open access operator Hull Trains has announced plans to restart its East Yorkshire to London inter-city services during August.
As a non-franchised operator Hull Trains must survive on a purely commercial basis. It did not qualify for the emergency support which the Department of Transport has provided for franchised operators during the pandemic, and so suspended operations from March 29 to ‘safeguard the future of the business’ in the ‘unprecedented circumstances’ which had seen ridership collapse.
Services between Beverley, Hull and London King’s Cross are now expected to restart on Friday August 21, with a limited timetable of two trains each way Monday to Saturday and three services each way on Sundays.
‘We will continue to review the numbers of people travelling and will introduce more services as demand increases’, said Managing Director Louise Cheeseman on July 31.
Hull Trains would normally operate 92 services a week.
Travelling with confidence
Cheeseman said she was ‘thrilled’ to announce the return date as the number of people using rail services starts to increase.
‘By relaunching services in August, we are giving families and friends an opportunity to spend some quality time together’, she said. ‘Tourist attractions in the capital are opening up again and we expect to see people making the most of day trips, weekends away and the bank holiday.
‘We are excited to give people the opportunity to travel safely so they can make the most of the rest of the summer season and the services we plan to introduce on the timetable will give people the best chance to do this.
‘I want to reassure our customers that extra cleaning measures will be taking place onboard the trains. There will be a dedicated cleaning team on every service, socially-distanced seats will be clearly labelled and all health and safety precautions will be met so people can travel with confidence.’