A SHORTAGE of rail staff has led to disruption of services in the region this morning.

Train operator Northern has had to make changes to a number of its services today, with the Saltburn to Bishop Auckland route affected.

The next service affected will be the 08:59 Saltburn to Bishop Auckland due 10:18, which will now start from Middlesbrough.

It will no longer call at Saltburn, Marske, Longbeck, Redcar East, Redcar Central and South Bank.

The operator said this is due to a shortage of train conductors.

Whilst it has not specified if this morning’s issues are due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Northern has issued a number of warnings in recent weeks about services being affected after “more and more frontline staff” had either tested positive or been told to self-isolate.

Last week, when services in Yorkshire were worst affected, Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern, said: “A high proportion of staff based in South Yorkshire have been instructed to self-isolate.

"This has exacerbated issues we were already experiencing in the region following an increase in the number of employees who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have had to enter a period of self-isolation.

“Many of these colleagues are drivers and conductors and, as such, we are left with no option but to cancel some services this week in the county.

“We are doing all we can to provide the best possible service for customers in extremely difficult circumstances and, where we are not able to run rail services, we aim to have placement buses on standby to get our customers where they need to be.”

For live information, visit northernrailway.co.uk/stations and select the station you are travelling from or tweet @northernassist or visit National Rail Enquires at nationalrail.co.uk.

Anyone delayed by 15 minutes or more is advised to hold on to their tickets and claim compensation by visiting www.northernrailway.co.uk/delayrepay

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