Over the course of the last few months c2c have been in the process of adapting services to meet the needs of customers. Covid-19 has seen a significant drop in journeys. In October, the number of daily travellers had risen to a high of 42% of pre-Covid levels. By the end of November that figure had fallen back down to 30%.
A recent update sent to Jon Cruddas MP outlined the following measures:
- Protecting trains that arrive in central London before 08.00, and there will be more carriages running at the start of the day than at present.
- Due to changing work patterns rush hour now results in a pre-18.00 peak so c2c are prioritising capacity at these new peak times.
- Due to high demand from school students travelling from east London and Essex into Southend on certain trains in the morning, there will now be five successive 12-car services that will arrive in the Southend area between 07.20 and 08.40.
At other times however, like off-peak and late-night services, demand has fallen away significantly so there will be significant reductions. However, all trains will be 8-carriages to maximise space to support social distancing.
A number of residents raised their concerns and Jon Cruddas sought assurances on issues relating to staff face coverings, increase in service usage when lockdown ends and shops reopen over Christmas, and c2c were also asked when residents could expect a normal service to resume.
Jon said: "there were a number of concerns about the new timetable and service being run on the line through Dagenham Dock and Rainham. I feel confident that all of these issues were addressed by c2c. Their staff are exempt from face coverings as they work incredibly long shifts, but there are very strict protocols in place to protect staff and passengers. Additional services have been added to the timetable to manage anticipated journey increases over the Christmas period."
C2c stated that it is too early to give an indication of when a normal service would resume as they are currently working hard to adapt to a constantly changing environment.
Find out all about the changes and how they may affect you here: c2c Timetables & Service Alterations | Latest timetable information (c2c-online.co.uk)