West Midlands Railway passengers are being urged to only use the train for essential journeys ahead of a new timetable coming into effect.

With social distancing advice still in place, capacity on trains remains limited and the operator is asking its customers to only travel by train if they have no other option.

Passengers who do use the train are being advised to check their journeys when the latest timetable comes into effect on Monday 18 May. The timetable includes the reinstatement of services between Hereford and Birmingham which were temporarily halted last month.

Those who do travel are urged to follow government advice to wear face coverings while travelling. Other measures such as one-way systems at stations may be in operation. Passengers are also being encouraged to avoid travelling at peak times and to buy their tickets in advance online.

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said:

“I would like to thank all the people who have stayed away from the railway during the national emergency. Since the travel restrictions have been in place we’ve been able to help thousands of key workers make essential journeys across the region.

“The well-being of our customers and staff is our top priority which is why we are asking our passengers to act considerately and think very carefully if they really need to travel by train.”

The new timetables are available to view online at www.wmr.uk/coronavirus.