BUS and railway timetables are being cut as demand drops because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Operators will keep an emergency service going to provide transport for key workers and those who need access to shops and services can get where they need to go.

WY Metro says bus operators are expected to introduce emergency timetables from Monday.

First and Transdev will be operating Saturday services while Arriva and Yorkshire Tiger will have a Sunday timetable on core routes which usually run every 30 minutes or better with additional morning journeys while routes which usually run hourly will operate a normal weekday timetable.

Rail operators are developing plans allowing them to offer a dependable service for those that need to travel. Some services are being cancelled due to staff availability.


Northern Rail cancelled some services today and advise passengers to check before they travel.

It has suspended the selling of tickets on board trains but customers will still require a ticket to travel and they should buy before they board from stations, ticket machines, and online.

Ticket offices will remain open.

Grand Central says it is consolidating its services, which will mean the temporary cancellation of selected trains on its North East and West Riding Routes, from Monday.

LNER will begin temporarily reducing the train services they operate from Monday with a temporary weekday timetable.

Customers are asked to check wymetro.com, @metrotravelnews on Twitter and operators' websites and social media for the latest information before they travel.

Also from today until April 17, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is introducing greater flexibility on concessionary travel passes so they can be used all day, helping older people and those with disabilities to access shops and supermarkets earlier in the day.

The WYCA and transport operators say they are observing the latest Government advice on hygiene precautions.

"We ask all passengers to be mindful of the government recommendations with regard to hygiene and social distancing."

WYCA said in a statement: "The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working with operators to ensure a resilient service remains available, particularly for key workers."

The WYCA will continue to arrange school bus services from Monday so that children of key workers can attend in line with Government guidelines.

To enable older people to get to shops and supermarkets earlier in the day, it will also be allowing holders of free bus passes to be used all day every day. This arrangement will run for the until Friday, April 17.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the WYCA Transport Committee, said: “While many people will be working from home in the coming weeks, we know that public transport remains essential for key workers and others who need access to shops and services.

“The measures being taken by rail and bus operators are designed to make services as resilient and reliable as possible and get people where they need to be. It is also important school bus services remain available for those children who will continue to attend.

“We are pleased to be able to introduce flexibility on concessionary travel but would urge those passengers to follow social-distancing guidelines.

“In the coming weeks it will be more important for customers to check for the latest updates before they travel.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it had agreed with rail operators across the country to scale back timetables from Monday as people change their travel habits to help stop Covid-19 spreading.

Core services will continue to run to help people attend medical appointments and allow emergency services and NHS staff get to work.

The coronavirus pandemic's impact on the public's travel patterns has seen demand for rail travel decline by up to 69% on some routes, the DfT said.

The joint move from the Government and rail industry will also enable freight services to continue.

It follows speculation in the industry that a number of train operators are on the verge of being brought under Government control due to plummeting passenger numbers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested to MPs on Tuesday that rail companies, as well as bus firms and airlines, could be temporarily nationalised to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

Running reduced services will also help protect the welfare of frontline railway staff, the DfT said. Changes to timetables will be kept under review, with there being a gradual move to widespread service reductions in the longer term.

To minimise disruption, services will be progressively cut back over the coming days, the DfT said.

Mr Shapps said the action was being taken to "protect the public" while still "ensuring keyworker heroes can get to their jobs to keep this nation running".

"For passengers in crucial roles, including essential workers in our emergency services and NHS, alongside people who need to attend medical appointments or care for loved ones, these changes protect the services they rely on," he added.

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said the measures would "preserve services so that we can continue to get key workers to where they need to be, deliver food to supermarkets and get fuel to power stations".

He added: "This is not a decision we take lightly, however implementing these measures now will mean that we can continue to operate trains over a prolonged period with fewer railway workers, who like so many others are to be commended for putting the needs of the country first, and whose safety remains front of mind."