Posted: 05.01.22 at 17:45 by Rory Poulter
COMMUTERS across Richmond borough including workers heading for central London and school-children have been warned of train service cuts linked to Covid-19.
South Western Railway (SWR) has admitted that staff absence will trigger a series of short notice cancellations in the coming days.
And the company has drawn up plans for a reduced train services to come into effect from January 17 amid concerns about a lack of drivers.
The changes will heap misery on passengers who have complained that even the trains that are running often involve a reduced number of carriages, forcing dangerous crowding.
In a statement, SWR said: "The onset of the Omicron variant has led to a shortage of staff across our business – from drivers and guards to engineers and controllers.
"These staff shortages have inevitably had a significant impact on our services, leading to short notice cancellations.
"As a result, we will be introducing a new, consolidated timetable from Monday January 17.
"Our focus is on producing a timetable that is deliverable, so that we improve reliability for our customers, and caters to key workers, school pupils and those who cannot work from home.
The company will be publishing further details on its new timetable shortly.
The firm added: “Until the introduction of the new timetable on 17 January, our services will still be subject to short notice cancellations.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers.”
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