We are beginning to see the numbers of passengers using our services increase. At Waterloo, numbers have increased to 25% of normal levels, a result of the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions

From Monday 7th September, we will be re-introducing some direct services, increasing frequencies on some routes, as well as increasing capacity during peak times to help social distancing.

During weekdays, additional services will be introduced on the West of England line, including direct services between London Waterloo and Exeter, as well as two return services to Bristol each day, and the reintroduction of trains between Salisbury and Yeovil via Castle Cary.

The line towards Weymouth will also see the re-introduction of direct services from Waterloo to Weymouth, with one train per hour running to replace the shuttle services currently running between Bournemouth and Waterloo and Bournemouth and Weymouth.

In the morning peak, additional services will also be introduced on some routes, with trains also running with extra carriages to increase capacity. On weekends, services will return to a near-normal timetable, but some late notice alterations may apply, and engineering works may affect journeys.

These changes will increase capacity by approximately 20% compared to our current timetable, helping our customers maintain social distancing when travelling. These train times have been updated in journey planning systems, allowing our customers to plan ahead on our website at www.southwesternrailway.com.

We are continuing to work to ensure customers can travel with confidence and are continuing to ensure high standards of hygiene at stations and on trains with enhanced cleaning, focussing on commonly touched surfaces. Hand sanitiser is also available at over 100 of our stations so customers can help prevent the spread of the virus before and after they travel.

We are also working to ensure our customers are aware of the latest Government guidance for travelling, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings and the need to maintain social distancing where possible. This is being done through regular social media posts and announcements on board our trains and at our stations.

We have also been preparing for the return of schools this week and next, to ensure that schoolchildren returning to education can travel safely with us. To do this we have written to schools across our region, asking them to share our dedicated schools website page and guide (www.southwesternrailway.com/backtoschool) amongst parents and pupils, so that pupils are aware of the steps we are taking to travel safely. We have also been preparing our operation for their return, identifying key routes and stations; we will also  have additional staff at some of our stations to provide extra guidance and support to those returning.

By working together with our customers, colleagues, and you our stakeholders, we can make sure everyone can travel safely.

We have now published our 2020 Stakeholder Annual Report, which you can view online at: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/other/about-us/stakeholder-annual-report