A RAIL operator serving Herefordshire has urged customers not to use trains to meet up with friends and family for post-lockdown reunions.

West Midlands Railway, which runs services from Hereford, Ledbury and Colwall to Worcester and Birmingham told people to avoid trains to keep space free for people making the most essential journeys.

With outdoor gatherings of up to six people permitted in England from Monday, transport officials are anticipating an increase in short and medium-distance journeys.

However, with trains still operating at significantly reduced capacity due to social distancing restrictions, West Midlands Railway urged customers to walk, cycle or drive if they are heading to a reunion next week.

Jonny Wiseman, head of customer experience for West Midlands Railway, said: “We know many of our customers will be looking forward to catching up with family and friends they have not seen in a long time when the rules change next week.

“With social distancing advice still in place, we are urging customers to avoid the train for all but the most essential journeys where no other means of travel is available.

“If you choose to take the train for a non-essential journey you risk taking the space of a front-line worker who needs it more.”

Great Western Railway,