Luton commuters warned to check before they travel as train services are cut due to Covid
Infections have impacted on train crews
Luton train passengers are being warned to check their timetables after three companies announced reduced services because of Covid.
Train times will change on weekdays from Tuesday, January 4 2022 as Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink introduce reduced timetables until further notice.
The changes are being made in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which has led to significantly increased staff sickness in recent weeks, as seen right across the rail industry. The companies say a reduced timetable will help ensure a more reliable service and less last-minute cancellations.
Gatwick Express will remain suspended, as it has been over the festive period to allow for engineering works, until further notice. Gatwick Express crews will instead focus on supporting Southern services, which also serve Gatwick Airport.
While fewer people are travelling on the railways overall, and government guidance is to work from home where possible, it is important for those who do need to travel in the new year to check their journeys in advance and allow additional time.
There are no planned changes for weekends, but it may be necessary to make smaller, additional on-the-day changes.
Angie Doll, Govia Thameslink Railway Interim Chief Operating Officer, said: “Due to the significant challenges we face with Covid now affecting many of our colleagues, we have taken the decision to operate a reduced train timetable from January. We’re really sorry if this does affect your journey.
“While many more people are now working from home again, we’re fully focussed on proving a service that passengers can rely on if they need to travel. We’d strongly urge people to check before they travel for the latest information and to leave extra time.”
The timetable from 4 January will be available to view in online journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk from Friday 31 December. Timetables from Monday 10 January will be available to check from early next week.
The changes next week include:
Orpington to Luton – peak only
Peak only services between Orpington and Luton via Catford will not run.
Sutton to St Albans / Luton
Four trains per hour will run between Sutton and London Blackfriars via Tulse Hill. Two trains per hour will continue to Luton via St Pancras International.
Luton to Rainham
Luton to Rainham services will run in the Dartford to Rainham section of the route only.
Cambridge to London King’s Cross – stopping service via Potters Bar
Two trains per hour will run in the Royston to London King’s Cross section of this route. One train per hour will continue between Royston and Cambridge serving Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton.