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Are we expecting all train companies to revert to the full March 2020 timetable by December?

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geoffk

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I was going to post this before the recent announcement about a new railway structure. Our answers might now be different.
 
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Watershed

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Some people might be expecting it, but it's definitely not going to happen everywhere. A few operators will be at their full pre-Covid timetable - or even greater, as in the impressive case of EMR. But most will operate a reduced timetable for the foreseeable short term.
 

MontyP

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Doesn't seem to be any sign of South West Trains returning to the usual 30 mins service on the Dorking and Guildford via Epsom services
 

Bald Rick

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Some people may expect, and they will be disappointed. There is absolutely zero chance of the big London commuter TOCs going back to a full peak service.
 

bramling

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I was going to post this before the recent announcement about a new railway structure. Our answers might now be different.

Somewhere between doubtful and impossible, with crewing being a major issue.

Then if you take GTR’s GN services, they have just binned off no fewer than 21 units from their fleet.

No doubt there’s an element of waiting to see what happens when “work from home” is no longer guidance.
 

geoffk

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I would expect peak services into London to be thinned out and that would work unless everyone decides to go into the office on the same days of the week! There are far fewer peak extras into other cities - which has the most, Glasgow?
 

cactustwirly

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Going by my commute to and from work by car, I think the ToCs are in for a big shock. The traffic over the last few weeks has got quite bad. Looks like a lot of people are still going the office.
 

bramling

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Going by my commute to and from work by car, I think the ToCs are in for a big shock. The traffic over the last few weeks has got quite bad. Looks like a lot of people are still going the office.

The increase in traffic round my way has been very conspicuous ... however many places which would previously have been jammed at times like 1700 still aren’t even close to it.

A lot of the traffic we’re seeing is clearly leisure related, which is quite curious seeing as there shouldn’t now be *that* many people off work completely, even if many are still not back to the office.

I do tend to agree that there is going to be a bit more of a return to the office than some are predicting. “I want to continue working from home” doesn’t mean it will happen in many cases.
 

cactustwirly

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The increase in traffic round my way has been very conspicuous ... however many places which would previously have been jammed at times like 1700 still aren’t even close to it.

A lot of the traffic we’re seeing is clearly leisure related, which is quite curious seeing as there shouldn’t now be *that* many people off work completely, even if many are still not back to the office.

I do tend to agree that there is going to be a bit more of a return to the office than some are predicting. “I want to continue working from home” doesn’t mean it will happen in many cases.

I seriously doubt the traffic heading out of Reading at 07:30am on a weekdays is leisure related. The queues heading out of Reading at 5pm on a weekday are also something to behind
 

bramling

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I seriously doubt the traffic heading out of Reading at 07:30am on a weekdays is leisure related. The queues heading out of Reading at 5pm on a weekday are also something to behind

I can only speak for round here (Hertfordshire), but the traditional high peak times on the roads still aren’t even close to being what they were. I’ve done a few journeys at such times recently (including into north London around 0830) and it’s been the same story. Yet the local retail parks are all packed no matter what time during the week, and of course bursting at weekends.
 

dk1

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13th September would be nice. I’m hoping for more horrendous road traffic congestion soon. That’ll all help kick start things.
 

bramling

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13th September would be nice. I’m hoping for more horrendous road traffic congestion soon. That’ll all help kick start things.

It does seem to be the case that people are very keen to get out and about when it comes to leisure, but don’t seem to share the same enthusiasm when it comes to returning to work. Surely that can’t last forever, but then how many times has furlough been extended? (There can’t be *that* many people still on furlough, can there?).
 

dk1

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It does seem to be the case that people are very keen to get out and about when it comes to leisure, but don’t seem to share the same enthusiasm when it comes to returning to work. Surely that can’t last forever, but then how many times has furlough been extended? (There can’t be *that* many people still on furlough, can there?).
You wouldn’t think so but I struggle to spell the word let alone know what or who’s still on it. I think a wake up call is coming for many.
 

38Cto15E

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Thanks for that Peter0124, Avanti re-commencing their excellent service from Rugby to Blackpool North. Rugby then first stop Warrington, great.
 

Bald Rick

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A lot of the traffic we’re seeing is clearly leisure related, which is quite curious seeing as there shouldn’t now be *that* many people off work completely, even if many are still not back to the office.

In this part of Hertfordshire traffic is back to normal. Same queues at the same times in the same places.

Yesterday on the strategic road Network was horrendous. M1 was jammed for most of the way from Luton to Northampton from around midday, M25 was solid from the A1 to the A3 anti-clockwise and almost the same clockwise from around 1500. Clearly being the first Friday where you are officially allowed to go away and stay has been a big part of that.

I also know a fair few people take time off this week and/or next to go away, as they now can. So I’m not surprised the traffic is as it is.
 

bramling

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In this part of Hertfordshire traffic is back to normal. Same queues at the same times in the same places.

Yesterday on the strategic road Network was horrendous. M1 was jammed for most of the way from Luton to Northampton from around midday, M25 was solid from the A1 to the A3 anti-clockwise and almost the same clockwise from around 1500. Clearly being the first Friday where you are officially allowed to go away and stay has been a big part of that.

I also know a fair few people take time off this week and/or next to go away, as they now can. So I’m not surprised the traffic is as it is.

How come the sudden explosion in people taking time off? It isn't half term or anything this week.
 

Bald Rick

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How come the sudden explosion in people taking time off? It isn't half term or anything this week.

1) because you can now go away and stay with friends / in hotels etc, and having been not allowed to for the last 6 months or so are keen to do so again
2) a significant majority of adults in this country do not have school age children.
 

bramling

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1) because you can now go away and stay with friends / in hotels etc, and having been not allowed to for the last 6 months or so are keen to do so again
2) a significant majority of adults in this country do not have school age children.

Fair enough. Just a bit surprising, as I've been off work for three weeks and have done precisely nothing, mainly thanks to the current run of dire weather. I suppose I sometimes forget that not everyone is as outdoor-oriented as we are.

Having said that, having a completely uncongested weekday run up the A1 to Stanmore station at 0830 in the morning, as I did the other week, *definitely* isn't normal.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Somewhere between doubtful and impossible, with crewing being a major issue.

Then if you take GTR’s GN services, they have just binned off no fewer than 21 units from their fleet.

No doubt there’s an element of waiting to see what happens when “work from home” is no longer guidance.
In the case of Northern Trains, the newest part of their fleet seems to be suffering from what can best be described as "CAF syndrome".
 

Andyh82

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I was going to post this before the recent announcement about a new railway structure. Our answers might now be different.
I would hope that the previous off peak frequencies should return to normal soon, peak enhancements that is mostly the preserve of the London commuter TOCs maybe not, although with the partial working from home that many are expecting will be a permanent feature, what happens if everyone chooses the same days?
 

bramling

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I would hope that the previous off peak frequencies should return to normal soon, peak enhancements that is mostly the preserve of the London commuter TOCs maybe not, although with the partial working from home that many are expecting will be a permanent feature, what happens if everyone chooses the same days?

Judging by the numbers of people who claim they "intend" to work from home on Fridays and Mondays, I think there's going to be some rude awakenings, likewise for those who seem to think being on the roads on the way to their newly extended weekend break will count as working from home!
 

Jamesrob637

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It does seem to be the case that people are very keen to get out and about when it comes to leisure, but don’t seem to share the same enthusiasm when it comes to returning to work. Surely that can’t last forever, but then how many times has furlough been extended? (There can’t be *that* many people still on furlough, can there?).

There are obviously far fewer people still on furlough now that hospitality has resumed. April was the key month for getting many back to work. However, many are working part-time or on flexi furlough, so on an individual weekday there will still be far more people off "active" work than pre-COVID. This will probably go on for the rest of the year and into 2022. Bald Rick is right in saying that many will have booked some time off these coming weeks as things open up further.

Judging by the numbers of people who claim they "intend" to work from home on Fridays and Mondays, I think there's going to be some rude awakenings, likewise for those who seem to think being on the roads on the way to their newly extended weekend break will count as working from home!

WFH on Mondays and Fridays was becoming popular even pre-COVID!
 

PeterC

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In this part of Hertfordshire traffic is back to normal. Same queues at the same times in the same places.

Yesterday on the strategic road Network was horrendous. M1 was jammed for most of the way from Luton to Northampton from around midday, M25 was solid from the A1 to the A3 anti-clockwise and almost the same clockwise from around 1500. Clearly being the first Friday where you are officially allowed to go away and stay has been a big part of that.

I also know a fair few people take time off this week and/or next to go away, as they now can. So I’m not surprised the traffic is as it is.
Had to drive into Watford in the morning peak last week. A41 at pre covid levels but the run into the town centre lighter. Traffic seems to be back but not necessarily where expected.
 

paul1609

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I haven't made a rail journey this year, my railcards have all lapsed now. Dont anticipate using rail whilst the facemask rules remain in place unless its a distress purchase. My observations of traffic at outer Kent/ Sussex stations and their car parks is that commuting to London hasnt reached 10% of the precovid levels yet, leisure may be 30%, schools back to near normal. Cant see Southeastern being back to normal peak services for years if ever.
 

Jamesrob637

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Had to drive into Watford in the morning peak last week. A41 at pre covid levels but the run into the town centre lighter. Traffic seems to be back but not necessarily where expected.

The notorious Sharston Link in South Manchester (last couple of junctions for the M56 before it merges into the M60) was busy again at 17:30 on Thursday, though the turn off for East Didsbury and the Kingsway (A34) were emptier than they had been pre-COVID. I only travelled along it for less than a mile though, between J2 and J1. PeterC has it summed up well when he says where the traffic has recovered and where it has not done so much.

There are lots of businesses next to or near the M56 in South Manchester and the border with Cheshire, attracting people from all over Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas. People in these must have returned to offices in extents, especially this week with the rule of 6 inside. I liked the quiet roads at rush hour, but am also glad to see people out and about once again.
 

name_required

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In the week ending 14 May (the latest week for which he DfT has published the data), car traffic on roads was at about 88% of pre-COVID levels, compared to National Rail passengers being at about 40% and the Tube being at 36%. Obviously this doesn’t split out commuting from leisure travel and there will be local variations, but it does suggest overall car travel is close to pre-pandemic levels.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic
 
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