Grand Central has announced that it is suspending all services between Bradford and Sunderland until March, after England went into a new national lockdown in January. The move comes following a decline in passenger numbers following the Government’s “Stay at Home” messaging.
What this suspension means
The company is cancelling trains on both its North East and West Riding routes from London Kings Cross to Bradford Interchange and Sunderland from the 9th January 2021. It is planned that train services will return on the 1st of March 2021, when it is hoped England can come out of it’s third lockdown, and enter into a Tiered Approach once again.
A Grand Central spokesman said:
“It’s hugely disappointing for us to be starting 2021 by removing our trains from the communities they serve. However, even before Monday’s Government announcement of a total lockdown, the impact of tightening tier restrictions and ongoing engineering work on the East Coast Main Line had caused a major drop in passenger demand for January and February.”
“As an Open Access operator, relying exclusively on income from ticket sales, it’s clear we would best serve the needs of our business and our staff and passengers, by taking a period of hibernation. We are currently planning to return on March 1st and our services will remain open for bookings to travel from that date. Meanwhile, we will continually monitor the national situation and provide updates through our usual communication channels. We may return sooner if the lifting of restrictions allows.”
The spokesperson added: “Following discussions with rail unions, our crew and some of our support staff will be switched onto the Government furlough scheme during this hibernation period. Once again we thank our staff for their understanding, professionalism and commitment following this difficult but necessary decision.”
“Grand Central will be back, until then please follow Government advice and stay safe.”
From all of us here at Rail Traveller, please do your part: Stay Home > Protect the NHS > Save Lives.