Scotland’s Railway cannot guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a journey

ScotRail encourages customers to keep playing their part

ScotRail is urging customers to follow its five rules for safe travel, as the train operator warns customers it can’t guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a journey.

While travel remains for essential journeys only, the rail operator is preparing for any potential easing in lockdown which could result in more people travelling by train. That makes physical distancing more of a challenge. Customers are reminded that, while Scotland’s Railway has introduced significant measures to help, they must take personal responsibility for their travel choices.

The capacity of trains has been significantly reduced to help support physical distancing. For example, on a class 385 eight-carriage train, operating between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the normal capacity is more than 500, but is reduced to less than 80 to allow for a two metre distance to be adhered to.

From Monday (15 June), hand sanitiser units will be in place at the busiest stations throughout the country to help customers follow the Scottish Government guidance.

The busiest stations have floor markings and other signs to outline a safe distance of two metres, while some station facilities such as waiting rooms are closed.

Platform markings and guidance at ticket vending machines is supporting station announcements and messages on customer information screens, to help essential travellers during their journey.

And to help with physical distancing, and as part of the effort to keep key workers moving, ScotRail is adding more services to the timetable from Monday, 15 June.

The extra services will deliver even more options for travel, increasing the number of services from 47 per cent of a normal timetable to 60 per cent, and delivering 70 per cent of the normal number of seats.

Some trains will be longer, with more seats for customers delivering more capacity and helping people to maintain a safe physical distance, but the operator is asking customers to take personal responsibility to follow the five rules:

  1. Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature.
  2. Travel away from the main commuting times (0700 – 0900 and 1600 – 1830) wherever possible, as trains will be busiest around then. The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, like NHS and care home staff.
  3. If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.
  4. Wear a face mask or covering and, where possible, maintain physical distancing.
  5. Be patient. You might not be able to board your first choice of train, as physical distancing means most seats need to be left empty.

Customers can expect an increase in the time it takes to buy a ticket at a station and board a train, and there may be occasions over the coming months when boarding their normal train may not be possible in busier times. Buying tickets in advance through the ScotRail app or website will reduce waiting time for customers.

Edinburgh – North Berwick / Dunbar

Trains run on an hourly service between Edinburgh and North Berwick only. No trains operate to / from Dunbar.

Edinburgh to North Berwick

  • 0714, the hourly until 1945
  • 1716 Edinburgh to North Berwick runs additionally

North Berwick to Edinburgh

  • 0647, then hourly until 2027
  • 0718 North Berwick to Edinburgh runs additionally

Sundays

Trains run to normal frequency. The last trains of the evening are 2033 Edinburgh to North Berwick and 2120 North Berwick to Edinburgh.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:

“Since the start of this pandemic, our staff across Scotland’s Railway have done a fantastic job. We are incredibly proud of their efforts to help customers travel safely.

“Providing hand sanitiser is the latest measure to keep people safe, but our message to customers remains the same: people should only travel if it is essential.

“For those who do travel, Scotland’s Railway cannot guarantee physical distancing at all stages of a journey because we only have a limited amount of capacity. That’s why following our five rules for travel is vital, particularly on face coverings. We need everyone to take personal responsibility for their travel choices.

“There have been changes to our daily routine in everything we do, and the railway is no different.”

Creature Candy are Fundraising to Help Save the Scottish Seabird Centre


Small homewares and gifts company Creature Candy join the effort to save much-loved Scottish Seabird Centre


Creature Candy has agreed to help raise money for the Scottish Seabird Centre through the sale of limited edition puffin prints, as they suffer from financial difficulties due to COVID-19. 

In order to avoid permanent closure, the Scottish Seabird Centre has set an overall fundraising target of £200,000. In the 20 years that the conservation charity has been operating, they have used their resources to educate people about the Scottish marine environment and to support conservation projects. 


Creature Candy wants to do its bit to ensure the centre can continue their important work. “Creature Candy are proud to support a number of wildlife charities and important conservation projects,” said Lizzie Barker, founder and director of Creature Candy. “The Scottish Seabird Centre provides a wonderful environment for the public to enjoy and learn about seabirds and other marine animals. It also plays an important role in the conservation and protection of some of the most fragile habitats on the planet. Its survival is imperative and we sincerely hope we can help to make this happen.”


Creature Candy launched a four-week campaign via Crowdfunder to sell limited edition puffin art prints. The prints will cost £15 each, with £5 from each print sold going to the Seabird Centre.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/puffin-prints-to-help-save-scottish-seabird-centre

Witness Appeal – Fatal Road Crash – Dirleton – East Lothian

Police today, Monday, 8 June 2020, renewed their appeal for information following a fatal road crash In East Lothian on Thursday, 4 June 2020.

Around 12.45 pm last Thursday afternoon, a 47-year-old man died following the collision between his silver Audi A4 and a black Ford Fiesta on the A198 near Dirleton, East Lothian.

The 25-year-old male driver of the Ford Fiesta was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment to non-life-threatening injuries.

Sergeant Jennifer Forbes of Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit said: 


“Our enquiries in to the crash are still continuing. We have had a decent response to our earlier appeal but we are still keen to speak to anyone who was in the area, between 12.30 pm and 12.50 pm, who may have dash-cam footage, to get in touch.

We are appealing in particular to a woman driving a dark coloured 4×4 vehicle who stopped at the scene to come forward. Her information may be very helpful to our investigation.

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 1444 of 4 June.”

Great Get Together celebrates power of community

This year’s Great Get Together is taking place over the weekend of 19-21 June and will celebrate the power of community.

The campaign – inspired by the life and philosophy of MP Jo Cox, who was killed on the 16th of June 2016 – is doing that by asking people to consider organising something in their street or neighbourhood, like have a cuppa over the hedge with a neighbour or a socially-distanced sing-a-long in their street, or it could be something online or on the phone.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“The power of community is a very apt theme for this year’s Great Get Together. East Lothian has certainly experienced the immense power of community during the pandemic as people have volunteered and come together to help neighbours through the emergency.

“Jo Cox’s belief that we have more in common than that which divides us has really been demonstrated during the Covid-19 crisis. This year’s Great Get Together weekend is another chance to extend the closeness and togetherness of our communities and celebrate their power to foster unity and compassion.”

In her first speech to Parliament, Jo Cox said, We have more in common than that which divides us. The Great Get Together asks people across the country to embrace Jo’s words and celebrate the belief that community makes us. 

Jo’s family and friends first organised the Great Get Together in 2017, and since then they have seen millions of people across the country take part in thousands of events.

Find out more about how to get involved in this year’s Great Get Together at www.greatgettogether.org

Top marks for rural podcast’s homeschooling episode

The latest episode of OnFARM, Scotland’s Rural Podcast, has been working in partnership with RHET (The Royal Highland Education Trust) to provide some rurally inspired home-schooling tips and advice for parents and teachers. The episode also announces an exciting online event, taking place on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th June (which would have been the start of The Royal Highland Show 2020) during which children, parents and teachers can engage with a whole range of events, demonstrations and activities focused on animals, plants, soil, food and cookery, the countryside and much more.

During early summer, OnFARM is working alongside The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and The Royal Highland Show, to produce a series of episodes investigating what gap will be left by the cancellation of the Show this summer, as well as looking at some of the behind the scenes the work of the Society.

RHET is the educational charity focused on food, farming and the countryside and the organisation responsible for the learning activities enjoyed by thousands of children during the Royal Highland Show.

Anna Davies, OnFARM presenter, said:

“Making this episode not only inspired me to have a go at some food and farming themed learning activities with my children, but it has also given many of us an online event to look forward to at the end of June when we would otherwise have been enjoying the Royal Highland Show.

“Teachers tell me that it’s impossible to full delivery the Curriculum for Excellence without the resources provided by RHET and it’s a superb charity doing a wonderful job of helping our children to understand more about farming, food production and the countryside.

“I urge everyone to please spread the word about this podcast, the work of RHET and about the amazing learning events taking place on 18th and 19th June. As we come to terms with this ‘new normal’, resources such as this become even more valuable to teachers and certainly to parents like me.”

Listen to “OnFARM RHASS 3: Home schooling with RHET” on Spreaker.

ScotRail urges customers to play their part and cover their face while travelling

Customers should cover their face when travelling on Scotland’s Railway – and play a critical role in keeping essential rail users safe.

ScotRail has issued the updated guidance for customers following the launch of the Scottish Government Transport Guidance plan, which confirms people travelling on public transport should wear a face covering.

As part of the effort to keep key workers moving, the train operator will add a small number of daily services to the timetable from Monday, 1 June.

The extra services will deliver more options for travel during peak times and continue to deliver for key workers. ScotRail said that the small increase in services – from 43 per cent of a normal timetable to 47 per cent – will mean there is more capacity for key workers and essential travellers to increase the opportunities for physical distancing over the coming weeks.

New measures have been introduced by the train operator in the last week with new rules for travel:

Do not travel if you feel unwell or have a temperature.

Travel away from the main commuting times (0700 – 0900 and 1600 – 1830) wherever possible, as trains will be busiest around then. The earliest and latest trains serve key workers, like NHS and care home staff.

If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.

Wear a face mask or covering and where possible maintain physical distancing.

Be patient. You might not be able to board your first choice of train, as physical distancing means most seats need to be left empty.

The largest stations will have floor markings and other signs to outline a safe distance of two metres, while some station facilities such as waiting rooms will be closed, as ScotRail follows the successful model implemented by supermarkets and other businesses in recent weeks.

Platform markings and guidance at ticket vending machines will be supported by station announcements and messages on customer information screens, to help essential travellers during their journey.

Customers can expect an increase in the time it takes to buy a ticket at a station and board a train, and there may be occasions over the coming months when boarding their normal train may not be possible in busier times. Buying tickets in advance through the ScotRail app or website will reduce waiting time for customers.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:

“We are asking our customers to play a very important role in keeping everyone safe by following the Scottish Government advice to cover their face while travelling.

“The message remains the same: people should only travel when it is essential to do so. We need everyone to take personal responsibility. If you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.

“Adding a small number of services will provide key workers and essential travellers with more opportunities to practice physical distancing. We urge people to help us by making safe and sensible decisions.”

Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, said:

“Everyone across Scotland’s Railway is working incredibly hard to provide a service for those people who need to use the train in this difficult time, and we really appreciate everything they are doing.

“Train services are having to operate in a very different way just now, so we are asking people to only travel by train if it is essential, and to follow ScotRail’s five rules for travel.”

Customers urged to play their part in keeping Scotland’s Railway safe

Stay at home, save lives

If you think it isn’t safe to board a train, don’t do it

ScotRail is asking customers to follow Scottish Government guidelines on physical distancing and play their part in saving lives, as new measures are introduced across the network.

The train operator has been running a key worker timetable since lockdown, aimed at helping NHS staff, care workers, and others carry out their life saving work across the country.

Customers are reminded they should only take the train if travel is essential. Everyone else should follow government guidance to stay home and save lives.

The Rail Recovery Task Force, announced in the Scottish Parliament by Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, and Connectivity, continues to plan for any potential future increase in services whenever lockdown measures are eased.

The task force has briefed a wide range of stakeholders, including trade union colleagues. Prudent contingency planning has prepared an option for modest increases, but careful monitoring of passenger numbers this week means on balance it is sensible to maintain current service levels. 

This is in line with current Scottish Government advice that rail travel is for essential purposes only.

Restrictions during lockdown have changed the way of life throughout the country and travelling on Scotland’s Railway is no different, with customers being urged to think about the safety of themselves and staff.

The message from ScotRail to any customers who do travel is clear: if you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service. 

New measures have been introduced across Scotland’s Railway to keep staff and customers safe.

The major stations will have floor markings and other signs to outline a safe distance of two metres, while some station facilities such as waiting rooms will be closed, as ScotRail follows the successful model implemented by supermarkets and other businesses in recent weeks.

Platform markings indicating two metres and guidance at ticket vending machines will be supported by station announcements and messages on customer information screens, to help essential travellers during their journey.

Customers who do travel with ScotRail are being urged to use face covering at stations and on trains.

Customers can expect an increase in the time it takes to buy a ticket at a station and board a train, and there may be occasions over the coming months when boarding their normal train may not be possible in busier times. Buying tickets in advance through the ScotRail app or website will reduce waiting time for customers.

Everyone across Scotland’s Railway is working flat out to continue delivering a vital service for the country.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:

“Scotland’s Railway has played a critical role during one of the biggest challenges this country has ever faced, and we need our customers to help keep people safe.

“The message remains the same: people should only travel when it is essential to do so and we need everyone to take personal responsibility – if you think it’s not safe to board a train, don’t do it and wait for another service.

“We have signs in place to help with physical distancing, announcements being made at stations and on trains, and our staff will be on hand with advice and support.

“But there are limits to what ScotRail can do to manage this. It is essential that everyone works with us to help people stay safe.”

COVID 19 Resources Available In Translation

Please see the links below to some information from the Doctors of the World website with information on staying safe from COVID-19 including translation into numerous languages, including videos and information for parents and children.

Video on ‘How to stay safe from COVID 19’ is available on the Doctors of the World website in many languages:
https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-video-advice/
 
Written advice on ‘How to stay safe from COVID 19’ can also be found on the Doctors of the World website (in 45 languages including English):
https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/
 
Full English text can be found here:
https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/English-Covid19-Guidance.pdf
 
There is also a rich collection of online resources available on the website of the Ethnic Minority National Resilience Network: https://bemis.org.uk/emnrn/#resources 

Resources for parents and children:

Lots of help & advice from the Scottish Government’s Parent Club http://Parentclub.scot

#COVIBOOK – a short book to support and reassure children under 7
available in many languages including both standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic from https://www.mindheart.co/descargables

#TurdTag

This years #TurdTag campaign starts this week. Check out the information below or head to the website by the link below to get involved.

Help us log dog poo across neighbourhoods in Scotland as part of our #TurdTag fortnight.

Have you seen an increase in bagged or unbagged dog poo in your neighbourhood?

Did you know: Our surveys from last year indicated that dog fouling was at its most visible within communities over the last ten years, with almost 10% of sites recording presence and unsurprisingly this is worse in highly populated areas. 

As part of your daily exercise, and in accordance with Government guidance, why not take part in #TurdTag and help us understand dog fouling levels in your neighbourhood?

#TurdTag will be taking place for two weeks from 27th April this year. Over the two weeks, we want to encourage as many people as possible to feed in data on the number of dog poos they’re finding near them.

All you need to do is:
1. Select a 100m stretch to use as a transect.
2. When out on your walk as part of your daily exercise, count the number of bagged or unbagged dog poos you see (and why not take a photo?)
3. Post your #TurdTag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram tagging  @CleanUpScotland or @KSBScotland
4. Repeat – why not choose a different stretch to log the poos you find?
5. Email your results at the end of the fortnight, including your location and local authority to cleanup@keepscotlandbeautiful.org
 
In May we will collate all the data you send us to create a snapshot of the scale of the problem across Scotland

https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/local-environmental-quality/clean-up-scotland/do-your-bit-to-clean-up-scotland/get-involved-in-turdtag/

Message Sent By
Mark Armstrong (NHWN, Community Support Officer, NW Scotland)

Scams Update In Partnership With Trading Standards Scotland

Scam Share this week looks at some of the most recent scams which have been reported by consumers across Scotland, including those related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The below topics are included:-

Travel Cancellations
Mobility Aid Scams
Netflix Scam
Misleading Adverts for IV Drips
Hand Sanitiser - Official Guidance
Volunteer Shopping Cards
Pension Scams
Unfair Business Practices
Financial Impact COVID 19

Google reported this week that they are blocking around 18 million scam emails related to Covid-19 each day: a fifth of all hoax messages sent to Gmail accounts. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of people’s uncertainty around developments relating to the pandemic and, as well as emails, are rapidly creating malicious websites and apps that appear similar to genuine software.

Use this link to head straight to this weeks Scam Share
https://mailchi.mp/ba200398df1a/scam-share-bulletin

Neighbourhood Watch Scotland would love to hear from you. We are interested to know how you are feeling about all the scams that are circulating. Is getting up to date factual information making you feel safer? Confident in identifying possible scams? Knowledgable in what to do if you unwittingly become the victim of a scammer?

I look forward to hearing from you. Please get in touch either through reply on Neighbourhood Alert or at info@neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk

Message Sent By
Mark Armstrong (NHWN, Community Support Officer, NW Scotland)