West Midlands Railway warns customers ahead of timetable changes.
Passengers using West Midlands Railway services via Birmingham Snow Hill are being urged to check their journeys ahead of a new timetable coming into effect next week.
The new timetable formalises temporary arrangements announced last month as the impact of Covid-19 continues to make it difficult for the operator to provide the normal train schedule.
The timetable has been brought in to provide a reliable service to passengers on the route, which serves destinations including Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester and Kidderminster. Peak-time travel and school trains have been prioritised in the new schedule.
WMR customer experience director Jonny Wiseman said: “We are committed to providing as many trains as we can with the resources available to meet demand. This new timetable has been designed to provide a simple, straightforward service our customers can rely on.
“In recent weeks the impact of Covid-19 has meant we have had to cancel a number of trains on the Snow Hill lines, which we know is frustrating for our customers. That’s why we have created a new timetable which will reduce the need for short-notice cancellations while still providing a service to match the level of demand on the route.
“We will continue to run trains with the maximum possible number of carriages in order to help our customers socially distance while on board.”
With cases of Covid-19 increasing and restrictions tightening in some places, WMR is monitoring passenger numbers across the network to provide an appropriate level of service which matches customer demand and takes account of train crew availability.
Locally, passenger numbers remain below 30% of pre-Covid levels and demand for long-distance journeys continues to fall.
The new Snow Hill timetable features a reduced number of departures compared to the previous timetable but all trains will run with as many carriages as possible.
All departure times on the Snow Hill routes will change under the new timetable and customers are therefore advised to check their journeys carefully before travelling.
Under the new timetable the majority of trains from Birmingham Snow Hill to Worcester will now start and terminate at the city’s Shrub Hill station, rather than Foregate Street as before. Some peak time trains will continue to call at Foregate Street.
With a number of schools and colleges situated along the Snow Hill lines, the timetable has been designed to provide extra services at the beginning and end of the school day.
Weekday service pattern:
Stourbridge-Stratford-upon-Avon – two trains per hour (one via Dorridge and one via Whitlocks End). Both trains will call at all stations except Small Heath and Tyseley
Kidderminster–Whitlocks End – one train per hour calling all stations
Worcester Shrub Hill–Dorridge – one train per hour calling all stations
The operator is also reminding passengers that face coverings remain compulsory while on board public transport, unless exempt on medical grounds.
The new Snow Hill line timetables will be published on wmr.uk in due course.