RAIL passengers are being reminded that South Western Railway introduces a new temporary timetable next week in response to the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

The rail operator said the timetable, which comes into effect from Monday, January 17, is designed to ‘ensure reliability for customers and cater to key workers, school pupils and those who cannot work from home.’

South Western Railway’s managing director Claire Mann said: “The spread of the Omicron variant has had a significant impact on our railway, with fewer people using the train and staff shortages impacting on our ability to consistently deliver the current timetable.

“Having assessed demand and spoken to our industry colleagues, we believe this new timetable is the most effective means of ensuring our customers receive a reliable service, with short-notice cancellations minimised.

“Journey planners will be updated on a week-by-week basis, with updates taking place towards the end of each week. Customers should check their journey as close to their time of travel as possible.”

Core timetables are available through the South Western Railway website, with journey planners set to be updated on a week-by-week basis.

Updates will take place towards the end of each week and customers are advised to check before they travel at www.southwesternrailway.com.