Engineering work to hit Northampton trains on first weekend after stay-at-home lockdown restrictions lifted

Rail minister, Daventry MP Heaton-Harris, insists work is being planned for when railways are "quieter"

Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:01 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:02 am

Daventry MP Chris Heaton Harris is urging the public to "minimise travel" after announcing trains through Northampton will be severely disrupted on the first weekend after 'Stay At Home' orders are lifted.

The rail minister announced major track renewal work over Easter will mean fewer London Northwestern Railway services to and from London.

Network Rail does much of its major upgrade work over bank holidays to reduce the impact on commuters.

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Trains to and from Northampton will be severely disrupted over the Easter weekend — just days after lockdown rules are due to be eased

But Easter falls on the first weekend in April — just days after the March 29 target date for the next step in easing coronavirus restrictions.

Outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households will be allowed for the first time since lockdown began on January 5.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “From vital works on the new HS2 terminus at Euston to replacing signalling equipment from the 1970s, we are investing billions to upgrade our railways for when passengers return.

“By undertaking projects of this magnitude now we are making the most of our railways being quieter.

Rail minister, Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris

"I urge passengers to minimise travel over the Easter weekend, but for those that need to, remember to plan ahead and avoid the busiest routes.”

London Northwestern says it will run an amended timetable between Birmingham, Northampton and London Euston on all four days. Passengers, including key workers who have been using the trains throughout lockdown, are being urged to check National Rail Enquiries before making plans to travel.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, buses will replace trains between Northampton and Hemel Hempstead until 1.30pm.

LNR's customer experience director, Lawrence Bowman, said: “We are urging customers intending to travel over the Easter weekend to plan their journeys carefully due to important engineering works affecting usual timetables.

“I would also remind passengers that it remains mandatory to wear a face covering while on board the trains, unless exempt for medical reasons.”