Network Rail apologises after engineers spotted ignoring social distancing rules in Surrey

Network Rail has apologised after engineers were spotted failing to follow social distancing measures.

Workers were spotted carrying out maintenance at Farnham station on Saturday (2 May), standing closer together than two metres.

Network Rail says it's looking into the incident "as a matter of urgency."

Public Health England (PHE) guidelines say that construction work, including rail engineering work, can "continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible."

It says that where work cannot be carried out while following social distancing, staff should "consider whether that activity needs to continue for the site to continue to operate."

The guidance adds that if an activity is deemed essential, staff must "take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission," which includes handwashing, limiting face to face contact to no more than 15 minutes and cleaning shared equipment or vehicles.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Following recent Government advice that construction work, including work on the railway, should continue as long as Public Health England guidance is followed, we have issued strict guidance to keep our colleagues safe.

"One of our biggest challenges is to change established working habits from what would have been normal and acceptable behaviour just a few weeks ago.

“This photo has highlighted an occasion when, disappointingly, workers have not adhered to the strict guidelines issued, this is unacceptable and is being looked into as a matter of urgency.”

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