Thursday 21 May 2020
Passengers in Kent who must travel urged to plan ahead over Late May Bank Holiday weekend
- Passengers should only travel if they have to over the late May Bank Holiday
- Network Rail’s engineering works will affect some routes, so those who do need to travel urged to plan ahead
Network Rail is reminding passengers to continue following Government advice around the use of public transport, as it prepares to carry out projects over the Late May Bank Holiday weekend to maintain and upgrade the railway to improve future journeys for passengers.
The advice to passengers remains that they should only use public transport if they have to, and if possible, they should use other methods such as walking, cycling or driving. If a journey must be made by rail, people are urged to follow Government guidelines to keep themselves safe, such as adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings.
Passengers who do need to travel are asked to plan their journey in advance to check whether their route is affected by the works taking place.
Fiona Taylor, Kent Route Director, said:
“These upgrades are a vital step towards us being able to provide better, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers who need to travel.
“While most of the network is open for business, there will still be some changes to services, so please do check if you have to travel.”
Southeastern Train Services Director, Scott Brightwell, said:
“Our advice to passengers is still to avoid public transport if possible and only travel if your journey is essential. Due to the necessary improvement work over the Bank Holiday there are no Southeastern trains at Victoria but if you need to travel, tickets will be accepted on the tube between Victoria and other mainline stations, where we run services, such as Charing Cross and Cannon St.
“They will also be accepted on some TfL bus routes at Lewisham. You can get more details on our website.”
If you are a critical worker or you have to use public transport this weekend, please plan your journey before you travel as there will be changes to services and some stations will be closed while we carry out important engineering work.
From Saturday 23 to Monday 25 May we will be renewing the switches and crossings, the moveable rails which allow trains to change tracks, outside Brixton station to make services in the area more reliable. As a result, there will be no trains at Brixton station all weekend and there will be changes to services at Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye and Nunhead stations.
From Saturday 23 to Monday 25 May there will be no Southeastern services to and from Victoria station. Trains that normally run between Victoria and Ashford and beyond will run from Blackfriars. There will also be no service on the Victoria line.
Maintenance and renewals work to make the railway more reliable will also affect trains between:
- Ashford to Rye and Hastings all weekend
- Dartford and Maidstone, and Bromley North branch on Sunday 24 May.
Public Health England and industry distancing advice will be followed on all worksites.
Passengers are advised to check their journey before they travel. Visit Southeastern, National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner and TfL for more information.
Notes to Editors
Safety is our priority so at a local level, we are prioritising inspections and patrols, and the work that comes up as a result of those patrols. Where we have to renew track because it is life-expired (too old to continue), we are doing that too. As kit gets older, it needs more work to keep it going, which will be harder to achieve with COVID-19.
The Government has classed Network Rail as a critical service so our engineers and suppliers will still be working and travelling to work. However, we are looking after our people - we’ve hired extra vans so people can be socially distant, and we’re asking teams on site to keep their distance too. We’re also following rules on social isolation and home working where possible.
There are jobs where it is not possible to keep two metres distance and we are working with our teams to see if we can either stop those jobs or come up with ways to do those jobs safely (including minimising time and proximity).
The most important thing is that we keep the railway running for critical workers and that when this crisis is over, it’s in good shape to play a massive role in rebuilding our economy.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.