Train bosses add more off-peak services at Northampton as passengers start trickling back
Figures reveal whopping 80 percent drop in journeys during the pandemic
Train bosses are going ahead with plans to add more services between Northampton and London despite fears the return of face masks could hit passenger numbers again.
The government announced earlier this week that anybody using buses or trains or going into shops needs to wear a face covering as new Covid-19 rules were brought in to fight the Omicron variant.
But London Northwestern Railway will restore an extra train from Castle station to the capital later this month after seeing passenger numbers pick-up.
LNR customer experience director, Lawrence Bowman, said: “Over recent months we have been delighted to welcome more customers back to the railway following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
“In response to customer feedback and our passenger numbers, now is the right time to introduce an additional fast train between Northampton and London on weekdays.
“This means departure times for many of our services will change, however, which is why we are urging our customers to check their journeys carefully.”
Official figures revealed the astonishing drop in passengers at Northampton during the coronavirus pandemic.
Statistics from the Office of Rail and Road showed an estimated 657,000 passengers used Castle station between March 2020 and March 21.
This was a whopping 80 percent fewer than in 2019-20 when 3.2million travelled on trains.
LNR says that, even now, the number of journeys being taken are only 60 percent of pre-Covid levels.
But the company, which runs services between Euston, Birmingham and the North West, says there has been a shift from commuter journeys to leisure.
Hence, from December 12, a second hourly ‘fast service’ between Northampton and Euston will give passengers a choice of three trains per hour to the capital.
That will make use of rolling stock freed up by removing the early-morning 7.14am Northampton–Birmingham New St service. Passengers are advised to use either the 6.59am or 07.37am departures from Northampton as alternatives.