Commuters react to Merseyrail’s new 30-minute timetable as COVID hits staffing levels

WATCH: We hit the streets of Liverpool to find out what you think about the new half-hourly timetable that starts on Monday

Merseyrail are set to change all lines to a reduced 30-minute service as the COVID-19 Omicron variant hits staffing levels.

The changes will come into force from Monday, January 17, until further notice.

It is hoped that with services running at half-hour intervals it will prevent the need for more last-minute cancellations due to lack of front-line staff.

Full details of the 30-minute timetable can be found here on the Merseyrail website.

‘The wait in between trains will affect me a lot’

Eve, who regularly uses Merseyrail, said: "I don't drive, so the train is the only way I can get into town. The wait in between trains will affect me a lot especially with the baby trying to get in and out."

Although she does say, she would rather have a reduced service than have trains cancelled entirely. "If it was either I had to wait an extra ten minutes or get on the bus with the pram, I'm fine with that,” she said.

Watch the video at the top of the page for more comreaction.

Rollout of new train fleet faces delay

It's also been reported that COVID could also affect the rollout of the network's new fleet.

The trains are being built and maintained by Swiss-based manufacturer Stadler and will replace the near 40-year-old fleet that currently runs on the network – one of the oldest in the UK.

The disruption to staff training and testing is due to large numbers of staff absences through sickness and isolation due to Covid.

However, despite possible delays, it's still hoped the new trains will be coming to track near you this year.