A RAILWAY campaigner has called for people to still only use Furness public transport for essential journeys as the rail operator brings in extra safety measures on services.

Steve Nott, Dalton South councillor and part of the Furness Line Community Rail Partnership, said he would be worried if passenger numbers increased too much.

Northern brought in a new timetable with extra services on some routes earlier this week.

Overall capacity on trains is being significantly reduced to assist with social distancing.

Mr Nott said: “Passenger numbers are remaining low at the moment.

“There have not been issues because the numbers are low. But if numbers do increase then there could be serious issues for staff to deal with.

"I know they are putting in measures to address social distancing such as seats being cordoned off and signs being put up in the appropriate places.

"The staff are taking it very seriously and things have been put in place to maintain social distancing. The message is still only travel on public transport if it is essential.

"I don’t want to see staff having to question whether they can run trains for safety reasons. It has been good up to now though so people are obviously listening to the guidance.”

The government has asked those who have to travel to work or make an essential journey, to cycle or walk wherever possible and before travelling on public transport, consider if the journey is necessary.

Those who do need to travel by train are told to maintain social distancing where possible, wash hands before and after travel and, if possible, wear a face covering.

The new timetables can be found on Northern’s website or please contact National Rail Enquiries.