West Midlands Railway is urging customers making essential journeys to purchase their travel online, using contactless cards or via mobile phone payments.
The operator is displaying posters at its stations following the latest government advice on cash handling and social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
From today, ticket offices will only accept cash as a last resort when passengers have no other means of payment. The limit for contactless card payments rises to £45 next week.
WMR is also reminding passengers that only essential journeys are permitted, with the focus on ensuring NHS staff and other key workers can get to their shifts.
Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said:
“Although government advice means trains are currently off-limits for most people, the railway remains open for key workers and others making essential journeys such as medical appointments.
“The safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers is our top priority, which is why from today we are only accepting cash as the payment method of last resort.
“We are also encouraging passengers to follow social distancing guidance and remain two metres apart as much as possible, including at stations and on trains.”
Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, said: “We are keeping public transport moving for key workers and essential journeys only. I am pleased the vast majority of people across the region are following the Government’s clear guidance to stay at home.
“However for those who do have to travel, think about how you can minimise the risk of infection and protect yourself and frontline staff who are working incredibly hard in very challenging conditions.
“Not only should you be socially distancing where possible, leaving a gap of two metres, but you should also be looking to pay via contactless methods. I am pleased West Midlands Railway has taken steps to help make this possible.”
WMR is currently running a reduced timetable. For details, and more information about travelling during the coronavirus outbreak, see www.wmr.uk/coronavirus
About West Midlands Trains
For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 80 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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