Police and train companies warn against non-essential travel over Easter weekend

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Train companies and the police are warning against all non-essential travel this Easter weekend.

British Transport Police, Northern and TransPennine Express have joined together to launch a campaign to remind people that it is not acceptable to use the railway for leisure activities this weekend during the coronavirus crisis.

Under lockdown rules, the government is only allowing people to leave their homes for shopping, medical appointments and supplies, exercise and essential travel to work.

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Train operators have introduced amended timetables to help key workers and others whose journeys are essential.

Now, the regional campaign will urge people to stay away from the railway, stay at home and help to save lives.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “Our amended timetables are designed to provide support for those who have to make essential journeys. At the moment, our services should not be used for leisure travel and those doing so are putting themselves – and others – at risk of spreading infection.

“We are working hard to keep the railway running which, in turn, is helping key workers provide the valuable services we all rely on. We now need our passengers to follow government guidance and, where possible, stay at home.”

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Superintendent Glen Alderson, of British Transport Police, said: “This Easter weekend our officers will be carrying out the role they do every day, which is saving lives.

“We will have a deployment of officers patrolling stations across the rail network, supporting staff and reminding the public of the urgent need to follow the government advice, including an increased presence at stations popular with leisure travel – only those making essential journeys should be using the rail network.

“Millions of people have been playing their part in protecting the NHS and their loved ones by not using rail services. I urge the public to keep doing the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.”

Kathryn O’Brien, of TransPennine Express, said: “The weather is improving and bank holidays are fast approaching, but this is no excuse to ignore government guidelines and travel on our services. Please stay at home and help stop the spread of this virus.”

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