Penalty fares suspended and waiting rooms closed on Sunderland-Hartlepool rail line
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The travel operator is only accepting card payments at the moment and has reminded passengers that cash payments can only be made at a small number of ticket machines.
The measures have been introduced to help protect customers and staff while it operates its reduced key workers timetable.
The waiting room closure follows government advice and is in-line with action taken by train operators nationwide.
In the event of bad weather, Northern will review the situation and may look to re-open waiting areas if appropriate.
All gatelines at stations managed by the company are now fully open, meaning passengers do not have to pass paper or season tickets through the barriers or present them to staff.
Northern has also suspended the issuing of penalty fares until further notice.
“For those who have to make essential journeys, and for our staff who continue to work across the network, we want to make the railway as safe as possible.
“The measure we have introduced today further limit person-to-person contact and help staff and passengers follow the advice from government on social distancing.
“Though we have closed waiting rooms and opened gatelines, our ticket offices remain open to provide help and advice to passengers.
“We will, however, only accept payment via card (chip and pin or contactless). Customers who want to pay by cash will be asked to use ticket machines if they are available.”
Northern’s amended timetable means there is mainly an hourly service in either direction serving Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew and Billingham stations along the Newcastle-Middlesbrough route.
The majority of people are asked to follow government guidance and stay at home.