Southeastern, the train company which runs services into London and the South East, has now completed coronavirus swab testing on high touch areas among 20 of its busiest stations. All tests have come back showing no traces of Covid-19, confirming the ongoing effectiveness of its additional cleaning measures.
In November, six more stations will be tested including Sittingbourne, Slade Green, Maidstone East, Ramsgate, Margate and Herne Bay. By February 2021, 41 stations will have been tested for traces of Covid-19.
The activity is part of Southeastern’s enhanced cleaning regime to protect its staff, and provide reassurance to passengers that they can travel with confidence if they need to. The cleaning measure is being undertaken by a private contractor, and will see swab testing at all 165 stations across the network.
At each location, swab tests are taken from high touch areas and analysed in a laboratory. About 80% of the swabs are taken from public areas such as ticket hall entrance doors and arm rests on benches, with the remaining 20% taken from internal staff areas such as kitchens and door handles.
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director for Southeastern said:
“With rising cases and England moving into its second national lockdown during the month of November, it is absolutely imperative that we are doing all we can to provide a safe environment on our trains and at our stations for those still needing to travel.
“It is great to see more negative test results from our stations, and is testament to the work of our cleaning team who are regularly going above and beyond to ensure our passengers feel comfortable and confident travelling.
“In line with government guidelines, we are continuing to ask everyone to play their part in protecting others, so please only travel if essential and always wear a face covering unless exempt.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Southeastern has made significant investments to enhance passenger safety while travelling.
Approximately £400,000 has been invested by Southeastern in extra cleaning measures across its network. Last month it also launched a new SeatFinder service, that uses train load weight data to help passengers plan their journeys and social distance more effectively. From the 16th October, SeatFinder is now also available on the Southeastern mobile app as well as its web site, making it easier for passengers to use when they are on the go.