Kingston’s commuters see a reduction in trains due to spread of Omicron

South Western Railway (SWR) has changed its timetable in response to the spread of Omicron.

The new schedule came into force on January 17 as many people returned to work and schools following the Christmas break.

SWR’s Managing Director Claire Mann said: “The spread of the Omicron variant has had a significant impact on our railway.

“Having assessed demand and spoken to our industry colleagues, we believe this new timetable is the most effective means of ensuring our customers receive a reliable service, with short-notice cancellations minimised.”

According to its website, the new timetable will improve reliability and aims to deliver a viable transport option particularly for key workers, children and people who can’t work from home.

The Covid-19 pandemic, especially the emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant, has meant that many people in vital roles have had to isolate, resulting in a lack of manpower.

Key South Western Railway timetable changes include:

  • The Shepperton branch will now reduce to an hourly service,
  • Waterloo to Alton will also reduce to hourly; and
  • The last train of each day will be earlier than at present.

The changes are likely to cause disruption for commuters, however, SWR has promised they will be temporary and kept under review.

The transport operator said: “With current guidance to work from home, this timetable will sufficiently meet current demand.”

Passengers are advised to check their journey before they travel. For more information go to:

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