Hull Trains to suspend all services from Monday
Hull Trains is to temporarily suspend all its services from Monday as a result of “unprecedented circumstances” surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said it took the decision in a bid to safeguard the future of the business.
Despite running a revised timetable, numbers of people travelling on Hull Trains have dropped significantly since national guidance was issued for people to stay at home and stop all non-essential travel.
The company said revenues from ticket sales were vital, and its business model means it must 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 that suspending services was a difficult decision but it would help to safeguard the future of the business.
“We have explored every avenue to try and keep trains running but sadly it is not currently financially viable to run our services. We play a vital role in the regional economy, as recognised by our local MPs, and we fully intend to resume operations as soon as we can.
“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.
“We will continue to review the dynamic situation as it unfolds and we plan to return as a resilient train operator for the city of Hull and East Riding as soon as we can.”
Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, 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.”