By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
Commuters travelling through Croydon face a further two-month wait for some train services to return to normal after the pandemic.
Southern Trains said it could be mid-May before axed services were reinstated.
A new timetable with more trains to London Victoria was introduced on February 28, but still with some train services still missing
The train company admitted there was still “significant staff absence” due to Covid-19, and a backlog of training for new drivers.
A statement on the website said: “While the picture is improving overall and the direct impact of Covid on colleagues is reducing, its legacy continues to have an impact on our business and services.
“In the short term, we have taken a prudent approach to adding services, with the aim of ensuring we can offer reliability, rather than having to cancel trains last minute and create large gaps in the service.”
Southern said it was waiting to see what demand for services would be as people start to get back to working in the office.
It said it takes months of “complex work” to figure out how a new timetable should look.
The company said: “The railway has seen large losses in revenue over the course of the pandemic and it is clear people will continue to work from home more regularly in the future.
“We need to balance the choices with what’s affordable to run once we establish what the ‘new world’ of travel looks like.
“Our next timetable change will take place in mid-May.”
While another traveller from Crowborough, a town in East Sussex, asked why the company had “messed with” the timetable.
They tweeted: “What’s happened to the 11:44 from Crowborough to East Croydon? Why is this taken off the timetable and when will it be back? Why mess with a timetable that only has 1 train an hour anyway?”
Southern Railway responded to the would-be passenger saying this service was not part of the current service with the timetable in place until May 13.
Pictured top: A Southern train (Picture: Wikimedia Commons)