Posted: Tue 4th Jan 2022

Transport for Wales updates emergency timetable as staff absences from covid increase

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 4th, 2022

Transport for Wales (TfW) has further extended its emergency rail timetable following further staff absences from covid-19.

The new timetable equates to a further reduction of 10-15% of the initial emergency timetable introduced on 22 December, with a focus on parts of the rail network suffering from particularly high staff absence.

This move is in line with service reductions being introduced by other operators across the whole of the British rail network.

TfW and Network Rail have continued to see a significant increase in staff absences as a result of the latest wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and this has impacted rail services in recent weeks.

The new timetable, which came into place on January 3, will remain in place over the coming weeks and will be reviewed regularly as the rail industry in Wales monitors the impact of the new Omicron variant on staff levels.

The following routes will see all TfW rail services replaced by replacement bus services:

– Llandudno-Blaenau Ffestiniog
– Chester-Liverpool Lime Street
– Newport-Crosskeys

The following routes will see a number of TfW rail services cancelled throughout each day:

– Treherbert-Cardiff Central
– Pontypridd-Cardiff
– Cardiff-Barry Island/Bridgend
– Penarth-Cardiff-Rhymney
– Cardiff Central-Radyr via the City Line
– Cardiff Bay-Coryton

Jan Chaudhry-Van de Velde, Managing Director of TfW Rail, said: “We are very much dealing with the Omicron wave of Covid infections and, like many public service organisations, have seen a major rise in colleague absences over the last few weeks.

“Wherever we can, we’ll use additional carriages made available due to the reduced timetable to run longer trains, which will help with social distancing. We’ll also provide supplementary road transport, where possible.

“We appreciate this will be frustrating for some customers, and we have not taken this decision lightly. We ask that all customers check online before they travel and follow current government advice. Our aim is to restore the timetable as soon as absence rates caused by this wave of the pandemic allow.”

All customers are urged to check www.tfw.wales before travelling and follow the up-to-date guidance from the Welsh Government.

Customers who have already purchased tickets for services affected by this change will be able to use their tickets on alternative TfW rail services. Alternatively, they will be able to request a refund by visiting www.tfw.wales.

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