Hull Trains suspends all services 'to safeguard long-term future'

Hull Trains is suspending all trains from midnight to safeguard the long-term future of the business, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hull Trains is suspending services from midnight on Sunday

The train operator says it is not currently financially viable to run services between Hull and London, following the huge drop in passenger numbers since government guidance was issued telling people to stay at home.

But it says it intends to resume service as soon as it can.

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The company said they were reliant on ticket sales and had to survive purely as a commercial operation.

As one of three open access operators in the country, it has not been offered additional financial support from the government, which franchised rail operators have.

Louise Cheeseman, managing director of Hull Trains said they had explored every avenue to try and keep trains running.

She said: "It’s been a very difficult week for the business but the reluctant decision to temporarily suspend services is the right one based on the current unprecedented circumstances and I hope our passengers understand this.

"The move protects the long-term future of Hull Trains and our people’s jobs which is important as it will allow us to reinstate operations quickly when possible."

Passengers with tickets for Hull Trains will be able to travel on alternative train services on the same date and route specified on the ticket.

Arrangements have been made to make sure that tickets will be accepted by other train operators.

Steve Montgomery, managing director of the rail division for FirstGroup plc, said: “We are very sorry to all Hull Trains passengers that we will be suspending services.

"In line with the entire rail industry, passenger volumes at Hull Trains have reduced substantially since mid-March and even with the steps we have taken to reduce the timetable we’re operating, current passenger numbers make it impossible to maintain the ongoing level of losses we have seen.

“Our commitment to Hull Trains and the entire East Yorkshire and Humber community is as strong as ever, as evidenced by our recent introduction of a £60m fleet of new trains and we look forward to re-starting the service as soon as we can.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: "This decision affects 130 rail staff around the Hull area and they must be treated as an absolute priority.

"We expect the company and the Government to guarantee ‎wages at 100% and not some reduced rate and we also expect jobs, service, pensions and conditions for these rail staff to be fully protected throughout this crisis.

"We will be in direct talks to secure our members the guarantees they are entitled to. The Government have given the rail companies financial assurances, the same must apply to staff".

For more information visit the Hull Trains website at www.hulltrains.co.uk