Rail Minister thanks efforts of volunteer Journey Makers and work to provide cleaner, safer stations

  • Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris visits Norwich Rail Station to meet Journey Maker volunteers and see new deep-cleaning equipment in use by Greater Anglia

  • Journey Makers volunteer scheme will provide passenger support at up to 86 rail, bus and light-rail stations across England

  • rail operators across the country are carrying out enhanced cleaning regimes for all stations and services

Volunteers focused on providing passengers with simpler, safer journeys were recognised by Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris today (22 September 2020), as he thanked ‘Journey Makers’ at Norwich Station for their role in helping support passenger journeys on the railways.

Announced in May 2020, the project – which the Department for Transport (DfT) is delivering with the national charity Volunteering Matters – will deploy hundreds of volunteers to stations across the country, supporting the existing transport staff to welcome passengers and help them to travel confidently and safely across the network.

Journey Makers are trained to provide reassurance, advice and friendly assistance to passengers around transport hubs. The volunteers will help to deliver a continuous flow of people around stations, preventing overcrowding and queues.

In addition, Mr Heaton-Harris met staff at Greater Anglia at Norwich station to launch a new line of deep-cleaning equipment as part of its enhanced train cleaning scheme. Spot-check scanners, disinfecting fogging guns and powerful vacuum cleaners, used to clean both the air and surfaces, were demonstrated by the train presentation team – showcasing the huge efforts to create a safe environment for passengers.

As more passengers begin to use the rail network, it’s vital that operators continue their stringent cleaning regimes at stations, platforms and on carriages. This scheme builds on rigorous cleaning measures already in place across the rail network, including the implementation of a hospital-grade anti-viral spray used regularly on touchpoint and hygiene areas which provides additional protection to customers.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

As the network becomes busier, the Journey Makers scheme is going to be an invaluable part of passenger safety, complementing existing staff and preventing stations from becoming congested and overcrowded.

I’m thankful to Volunteering Matters and all our Journey Makers, who are providing a crucial service that will be even more vital as footfall at stations continues to increase.

The huge efforts by rail operators, including Greater Anglia, to deliver comprehensive cleaning measures across the network, will also ensure that trains and stations are regularly sanitised, meaning passengers feel confident when travelling.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said:

We’re doing everything we can to keep our customers safe while travelling with us, including investing in new powerful cleaning equipment, such as fogging guns which spray a mist of disinfectant onto all surfaces, vacuum cleaners which clean the air as well as the floor, and hygiene monitoring equipment to improve the efficiency of our cleaning routines.

We’re also taking on extra cleaners as we’ve stepped up our cleaning paying special attention to high touch areas such as push buttons, door handles and grab rails.

Stephen Skeet from Volunteering Matters said:

We’ve been delighted to support DfT in efforts to rebuild public confidence to travel safely through the Journey Makers Scheme. Across England, our volunteers are at transport hubs providing passengers with reassurance, a friendly face and ensuring they understand new arrangements for accessing stations.

It’s been brilliant for volunteers to support their local communities in a safe way at this time, meet new people while social distancing, and help travellers go to work safely.

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