Train operators in south London have announced reduced timetables from Monday (July 26) amid large numbers of staff being forced to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

High numbers of new Covid cases in south London and across the UK mean that increasing numbers of people are being asked by the government's Covid-19 app to self-isolate in a bid to slow down transmissions - the so-called 'pingdemic'.

Railway workers are no exception, and train operators Thameslink and Southern confirmed that they were being forced to reduce the number of trains they would run through a number of south London stations with Sutton, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Beckenham Junction affected among many others.

Responding to a request from Newsquest South London, a spokesperson for Govia said that "five routes" would be impacted with passengers being "strongly advised to check before they travel".

The Thameslink routes affected are:

  • Between Sutton and St Albans City via Wimbledon and via Hackbridge
  • Between Gatwick Airport and Bedford

The Southern routes affected are:

  • Between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction/Milton Keynes
  • Between Beckenham Junction and London Bridge via Dulwich
  • Between London Bridge and Caterham/Tattenham Corner

They added the following statement:

"Like so many other industries across the country, Thameslink and Southern have seen a significant rise in colleagues needing to isolate in recent weeks.

"This, combined with the knock-on impact and disruption of Covid-19 over the past 17 months, unfortunately means that there are fewer colleagues available to operate services at present.

"By bringing in a reduced weekday timetable now, passengers will have more certainty about services and experience fewer short notice cancellations, although it is still possible additional changes will need to be made on the day including at weekends."

Steve White, Chief Operating Officer for Govia Thameslink Railway which operates Thameslink and Southern, said:

"Regrettably, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce some weekday services.

"Unfortunately, like other industries across the country, coronavirus continues to affect our operations. We have fewer colleagues available at the moment due to a significant increase recently in the number of our people affected by Covid-19.

"Our colleagues have continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic and we’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused by the latest changes.

"By bringing in a reduced timetable now, it will help to reduce short notice cancellations and give customers more certainty. We strongly advise passengers to check before they travel, including at weekends."

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