Luton train passengers are warned to check their timetables after three companies announced reduced services due to Covid.
Train times will change on weekdays from Tuesday, January 4, 2022, as Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink introduce reduced timetables so far.
The changes are being made in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, which has led to a marked increase in staff sickness in recent weeks, as seen across the railway industry. The companies say a reduced schedule will help ensure a more reliable service and fewer last-minute cancellations.
Gatwick Express remains suspended as it has been during the Christmas period to allow engineering work, so far. Gatwick Express crews will instead focus on supporting Southern services, which also serve Gatwick Airport.
While fewer people generally travel on the railways, and government guidance is to work from home where possible, it is important for those who need to travel in the new year to check their travels in advance and provide extra time.
There are no planned changes on weekends, but minor, additional changes may need to be made during the day.
Angie Doll, Interim Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Due to the significant challenges we face with Covid, which now affects many of our colleagues, we have decided to run a reduced train schedule from January. We’re really sorry if this affects your trip.
“While many more people are now working from home again, we are fully focused on proving a service that passengers can rely on if they have to travel. We strongly encourage people to check before they go, to get the latest information and to discharge extra time. “
The timetable from 4 January will be available in online travel planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk from Friday 31 December. Timetables from Monday, January 10 will be available for inspection from the beginning of next week.
Next week’s changes include:
Orpington to Luton – peak only
Only peak traffic between Orpington and Luton via Catford will not run.
Sutton to St. Albans / Luton
Four trains per hour will run between Sutton and London Blackfriars via Tulse Hill. Two trains per hour will continue to Luton via St Pancras International.
Luton to Rainham services will only run in Dartford to the Rainham section of the route.
Cambridge to London King’s Cross – stopover via Potters Bar
Two trains per hour will run in Royston to the London King’s Cross section of this route. One train per hour will continue between Royston and Cambridge and serve Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton.