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16/10/2020

Railway cafe bar improvements despite restrictions


Greater Anglia has made some changes to its on train catering facilities as a result of the latest government guidance.

In line with other hospitality venues, café bar services on the train operator’s Intercity services between Norwich and London must close between 10pm and 5am.

Therefore, with immediate effect, there will be no catering service on the 7pm, 8pm and 9pm services from Norwich to London Liverpool Street, nor the 9.30pm, 10.30pm and 11.30pm services from London Liverpool Street to Norwich.

The 8.30pm service from London Liverpool Street to Norwich will have a catering service as far as Stowmarket.

Greater Anglia’s Business Development Manager, Catering, commented: “The evening services out of Norwich are still seeing very few passengers and on some of them we would be unable to provide a service for the entire journey because of the 10pm cut off, so for simplicity we have decided to temporarily suspend these services while the restrictions are in place.

“Our teams will instead be assisting the business by carrying out passenger counts so that we can continue to advise customers on the less busy trains via our website, and they will be doing additional cleaning around the station to help keep everyone safe.

“My team is doing a fantastic job under difficult circumstances. If passengers could help by observing social distancing instructions and wearing a face covering at the café bar, unless they are exempt, we can ensure that we all protect each other.”

Despite the restrictions and fewer passengers, Greater Anglia’s catering team aims to continue to provide an excellent service for customers, introducing a Hot Drink Loyalty Scheme with every fifth drink free, and the chance to win a Lavazza coffee machine in December.

They are also offering big discounts on filter coffee, tea, Adnams Southwold Bitter, Bitburger Lager and Adnams Copperhouse Gin & Tonic for a limited time.

Staff are undertaking additional cleaning at the café bar and have been issued with hand sanitiser for themselves and customers. Contactless payment is encouraged and social distancing signage has been installed to help passengers keep apart and protect staff.

Over the last year, Intercity services have been upgraded to brand-new, longer state-of-the-art trains with all mod cons on board, including plug and USB points, fast free wifi, air conditioning, improved passenger information screens, better accessibility features and dedicated cycle spaces.

It is now mandatory for customers to wear a face covering when using public transport, to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Children under the age of 11 and people with a disability or illness which means they cannot wear a face covering are exempt from wearing them.

During the summer Greater Anglia launched its “safer travel pledge” outlining the actions it is taking to keep customers safe, and four things passengers can do to help: travelling at quieter times, hand washing, wearing a face covering and check before you travel.

The train operator has also introduced a wide range of measures to make it easier for customers to maintain social distancing at stations and on trains – including floor markings, one-way systems, new signs and queuing systems.

People are advised to spend as little time at stations as possible – buying tickets online or via the Greater Anglia app or using contactless payment at vending machines if they have to buy tickets at the station.

Customers should use the whole length of the platforms and trains, to ensure they are as spread-out as possible, and stand back to let people off the train before boarding.

People are asked to try and travel outside the busiest times – details of the busiest trains are available online.

Passengers should remain in their seat until they reach their destination, rather than walking down to the front of the train.

Greater Anglia has stepped up cleaning on stations and trains, concentrating on high-touch areas such as push buttons, grab rails and door handles.

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