TRAIN services are set to be running on a revised timetable from today due to the government's advice regarding coronavirus.

South Western Railway (SWR) will be reducing the number of services it will be running from March 23.

This comes after the government urged people to avoid all but essential travel in order to help limit the spread of the virus.

The following service will operate on the London Waterloo to Weymouth line:

  • Hourly fast trains will run between London Waterloo and Bournemouth, in both directions. Some additional trains will run during peak periods. The last service from London Waterloo is at 10.35pm. From Monday, March 23, until Wednesday, March 25, the last train from London Waterloo will end its journey at Basingstoke because of planned engineering work. A replacement bus service will be in operation between Basingstoke and Bournemouth.
  • Stopping trains will run between Southampton Central and Bournemouth every hour, in both directions. The last service from Southampton Central is 9.00pm.
  • There will be an hourly shuttle service between Bournemouth and Weymouth, in both directions. The last service from London Waterloo is at 8.00pm, connecting to the last service from Bournemouth at 10.24pm.

The London Waterloo to Poole stopping service will not operate. Passengers for stations between Bournemouth and Poole are advised to change at Bournemouth and join the hourly shuttle service between Bournemouth and Weymouth.

Meanwhile the following service will be offered on the Salisbury to Romsey via Southampton Central route:

  • Due to a landslip between Romsey and Salisbury, a bus service will be operating on this route.
  • There will be an hourly bus service from Salisbury to Southampton central calling at Dean, Mottisfont & Dunbridge, Romsey, Redbridge and Millbrook.
  • An hourly bus service will also run from Romsey to Southampton Central calling at Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Southampton Airport Parkway, Swaythling and St Denys.

SWR said the spread of the COVID-19 means that like at most other organisations, more of their staff are having to follow advice to stay at home unwell and self-isolate for up to 14 days. By reducing the number of trains running, the company said it can focus on ensuring a reliable timetable for passengers who still have to travel, especially healthcare professionals, police and fire service workers.

Mark Hopwood, SWR's Managing Director, said: "We’ve decided to operate a revised timetable from Monday 23 March onwards.

"With the Government advising people only to travel if it’s essential, and with some of our team needing to follow advice and self-isolate, running fewer trains means we can offer a more reliable timetable that still gets key workers, such as doctors and nurses, to and from work.

"The outbreak has put the country in a unique place, but it’s vital our industry helps its day-to-day running. Our colleagues are working hard to ensure services are running so passengers who can’t stay at home get where they need to be when they need to be there.

"The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority, and like the rest of the country, we’re doing our bit to reduce the spread of coronavirus and continue to follow the latest Government advice."

John Halsall, Network Rail southern region managing director, said: "It’s so important for this country that key workers are able to get to work and vital freight supplies can continue to be delivered, and we’re proud to be playing our part.

"I’m so impressed by their dedication and of our railway colleagues too. Network Rail are working closely with our train operators on new timetables and we're continuing to maintain and renew the railway, so that we can keep trains running and people moving, despite the difficult circumstances."