A plea has been issued for people to only use the railway network this bank holiday weekend if necessary.

The ongoing coronavirus lockdown means that rail travel should only take place where it cannot be otherwise avoided.

Coupled with this, during the bank holiday weekend, many parts of the rail network in the north of England will be undergoing engineering works.

As such, there will be a significantly altered capacity on the rail network across Cumbria and beyond for the bank holiday weekend.

Chris Jackson is the regional director at Northern Rail.

He urged people to remember how limited the capacity on the rail network is at present.

He said: “The rail industry is working hard to provide the best possible service for key workers and those who need to make essential journeys.

“We need everyone else to stay away from the railway to leave space for those who need to travel.

“Our trains have a significantly reduced capacity at the moment because of social distancing measures.

“We really need people to listen to the advice and avoid travelling on the railway unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

“Anyone who does need to travel should wear a face covering while on trains.”

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express, said: “With the improving weather there will be a temptation for some people to use the railway to make non-essential trips this bank holiday weekend. However, the trains we are running are only for those who need to make essential journeys, as there is limited capacity on our services to help with social distancing, with a maximum of 20 seats per carriage.

“Please, can all those who intend to use the railway follow the government advice and only travel on our trains if they have no alternative way of travelling.”

This weekend that capacity is reduced further as many services will be affected by pre-planned engineering work with some routes facing a reduction in services and, in some areas, rail replacement buses.

Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail, said: “This Bank Holiday weekend, we are carrying out a number of projects to improve the railway and better connect towns and cities across the north, which means there are significant changes to services.

“We strongly advise people to continue to follow the Government’s advice and avoid public transport where possible. If you must travel, please follow the guidance on social distancing and plan ahead via National Rail Enquiries or with your train operator.”

For full details of the national guidance click here and for details of amended train times please visit National Rail Enquiries.