Concerns over social distancing on Northern train

A PASSENGER has raised concerns about social distancing on trains after a group of children squeezed into a carriage she was.

Hilary McQuillan said she was travelling on he train from Arnside when 50 children squeezed onto the train, making social distancing impossible.

She has pointed the finger at Northern train staff for not enforcing socially distancing rules strictly enough.

But one rail campaigner said it was down to passengers as well as train staff to make sure the guidelines are adhered to.

The passenger said: “All went well on the train until we arrived at Ulverston station.

“The guard got off the train to monitor the doors.

“He must have been aware that there was insufficient room on the train to accommodate approx 50 children or more aged from 11 to 16 who were waiting on the platform at Ulverston.

“The children just piled on to the already full train. They were jammed into the aisles, packed together by the doors. The existing passengers were appalled.

“No way was the Government guide lines adhered to. It was as though Covid-19 had never happened.”

She described the situation on the train as a ‘free for all scrum’ and said guards should not have allowed more people to board.

Northern has placed cover over seats that cannot be sat on on its trains to encourage people to social distance.

Rail campaigner Robert Parker, of the Furness Line Action Group, said it was down to passengers to make sure trains are not crowded.

“It’s difficult,” Mr Parker said.

“People couldn’t care less, if they want to get on the train, they get on the train.

“People just don’t stick to the rules and that’s why we’ve now got a big spike.

“If you’ve got a whole mass of school children I’m not sure what you do.

“If they take over half a coach where do the other passengers go?

“I cannot see a solution to social distancing on trains.”

The Mail contacted Northern but the company did not respond to requests for comment before going to press.

The Westmorland Gazette | News