Rail franchise agreements to be suspended due to coronavirus

A coronavirus notice at York Station. Photograph: YorkMix

Rail franchise agreements are to be suspended to avoid train companies collapsing due to the coronavirus, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Operators will be paid a small management fee to run services, with all revenue and cost risk transferred to the Government.

The emergency measures will be in place for an initial period of six months.

Rail timetables have been slashed because of Covid-19.

The DfT said passenger numbers have fallen by up to 70%, while ticket sales are down by two-thirds.

Revised rail timetables come in to place today. You can check them out here.