Merseyrail to operate reduced timetable from Monday as COVID hits staffing levels

It is hoped the downsized schedule will avoid the need for last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages.

Merseyrail have changed 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.

What’s been said

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, said: “Our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure that we can provide a safe and reliable service to the people of the Liverpool City Region.

“However, the Omicron variant has significantly increased the number of front-line staff being absent from work. This means that we need to reduce the number of trains we run to ensure that our services remain reliable.”

Cancellations and timetable changes

The new half-hourly schedule will affect all lines - Southport & Hunts Cross line, Chester & Ellesmere Port line, Ormskirk & Kirkby line and West Kirby & New Brighton line.

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