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Grand Central, which runs from London to Yorkshire is to suspend its services

Another train operator is to suspend its services because of the huge impact on travel caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Grand Central train Credit: PA

Grand Central, which runs trains from London's King's Cross to Yorkshire and the North East, said services will stop from the end of Friday (03/04/20).

Managing director, Richard McClean, said:

So far we have offered a rail service, under a reduced timetable, in order to keep key workers moving at a time of crisis.

"This comes with all the costs of running a train service, while bringing no ticket revenue to our business.

"This situation is unsustainable and, following several days of discussion with the Department for Transport, we have no alternative but to suspend our services."Customers who have a ticket to travel with Grand Central can claim a full refund from the place they bought their ticket. "People who absolutely need to travel, in line with government restrictions, can use their Grand Central ticket to travel on other train companies' services."

– Richard McClean

Grand Central is owned by transport giant Arriva and is an open-access passenger train operator, which means it does not receive subsidy from, or pay any premium to, the Department for Transport.

Hull Trains has also suspended its services because of the current crisis.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said:

RMT is frankly appalled that Grand Central is not intending to make up the full wages of the staff who are being stood down and is instead intending to just pay the 80% covered by the Government scheme.

"Arriva, who own Grand Central, are a wealthy company which can afford to make up the 20% difference and that is what we are calling on them to do.

"There are nearly 250 hard-working rail staff caught in the crossfire of the Grand Central service suspension plan.

"RMT's preference was for those workers to be kept operational in an arrangement between the DfT and the company which would have kept trains running."If that isn't possible the very least we expect is for their wages to be covered in full, with all current jobs protected, while services are suspended.

– Mick Cash

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