Travel: Staff absences over Omicron means further reduced rail services for passengers across Wales

Passengers are urged to check the new timetable before travelling. Credit: Transport for Wales

Passengers will see further reduced rail services across Wales after an increase in staff absences due to Omicron.

Rail passengers are being asked to check before they travel as Transport for Wales update its emergency rail timetable from 3 January.

The latest wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in staff absences in recent weeks.

Already services are running at a reduction rate of between 10-15% since 22 December 2021.

It's hoped the adjustment will ensure the company can provide a reliable service throughout the latest stage of the pandemic.

The move is in line with service reductions being introduced by other operators across the whole of the British rail network.

The new timetable will remain in place over the coming weeks and will be reviewed regularly as the rail industry in Wales monitors the impact of the new Omicron variant on staff levels.

Jan Chaudhry-Van de Velde, Managing Director of TfW Rail, said: “We are very much dealing with the Omicron wave of Covid infections and, like many public service organisations, have seen a major rise in colleague absences over the last few weeks.

“It’s fundamental we continue to run as reliable a service as possible for our customers and therefore we are introducing a revised timetable from 3 January, reducing the risk of late notice cancellations.

“Wherever we can, we’ll use additional carriages made available due to the reduced timetable to run longer trains, which will help with social distancing. We’ll also provide supplementary road transport, where possible.

“We appreciate this will be frustrating for some customers, and we have not taken this decision lightly. We ask that all customers check online before they travel and follow current government advice. Our aim is to restore the timetable as soon as absence rates caused by this wave of the pandemic allow.”