Weymouth to Bristol line operator GWR is continuing to remind people to avoid travel by public transport wherever possible.

The Government is expected to issue its latest easement of lockdown restrictions next week, however GWR wants to keep its trains free for those who really need them.

Social distancing guidance means that trains can only carry about a tenth of the usual number of passengers.

To help those who do need to travel GWR has introduced a ‘counted seat’ system for reservable services, where they restrict the number of reservations available on a train. Customers are not provided with a specific seat number to avoid people looking for their seat once on board.

GWR is asking customers to do all they can to follow social distancing guidance and acknowledges that this is difficult on public transport. Customers should wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible.

GWR Interim Managing Director Matthew Golton said: “With social distancing guidance in place we are able to carry as little as a tenth of the usual number of passengers, and customers are not yet able to use trains as freely as they once did.

“We are doing everything we can to carry as many people, safely, as we can. This will make sure that those who absolutely need to travel by train can do so. But I must ask you, is your journey really necessary?”

The train operator is asking customers to:

• Plan ahead – please book ahead where possible and check train times in advance

• Avoid peak travel times - Travel between 10:00 – 15:00 and after 19:00 on weekdays if possible

• Buy tickets online, on Smart card or mobile

To minimise risks customers are also asked to wash their hands prior to and after their journey, and hand-sanitizer has been made available at GWR’s main stations. To help those who do need to travel to avoid contact, food and drink will not be sold on board.

GWR has:

• Restricted the number of reservations available on reservable trains

• Added floor stickers and guidance at stations to help customers maintain the advisory distance;

• Cleaned stations and trains throughout the day, every day.