A TRAIN franchise has introduced new measures on its fleet to promote social distancing.

Northern Rail has begun rolling out a raft of new measures to combat the coronavirus crisis.

In its latest roll-out, the company has introduced seat coverings on its trains to ensure a two metre distance is obeyed between passengers.

The measures are a phased introduction which will prioritise fleets within saloon door controls such as the Manchester Airport to Barrow routes.

The plans are projected to take between two to three weeks to complete the entire fleet.

Mark Wilson, South Lakeland District Councillor, has expressed some concerns about the newly-adapted trains.

He said: “I have concerns about the students who will be using these services for university and locally at Ulverston.

“As businesses start to open up what services will be available for people to use trains to go to work?

“And as shops open up how will passengers planning a journey know which train to try and go for or book for?

“I’m concerned there may not be sufficient space for those expected on the train.

“And I hope the tables and doors would be disinfected on a regular basis.

“There may be a bit more thought required on this.”

A spokesman for Northern said: “We have started putting measures in place on our trains and at our stations to encourage our customers to, where possible, socially distance whilst travelling.

“Only key workers or those making essential journeys should be using public transport at the moment. But it is important that anyone who does travel by train follows government guidance to keep a two metre distance between them and other passengers.

“Our trains have a significantly reduced capacity at the moment because of the social distancing measures and we are asking people to listen to the advice and avoid travelling on the railway unless it’s absolutely necessary. People should also stagger journeys and avoid travelling during peak times if possible."