TRAIN operator Great Western Railway has been forced to cut some services from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington because of staff shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company has reduced the frequency of off-peak services between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington because some staff have contracted the coronavirus and others are having to self-isolate.

In a message posted on social media, GWR said: "We are continuing to experience higher levels of Covid-19 cases and self-isolation than expected."

The company says this means that its temporary timetable would be continuing for the foreseeable future.

It added: "The changes will help protect services vital for key workers and essential travel and will mean we continue to operate approximately 80 per cent of our planned timetable."

GWR will contact customers who have booked online to offer advice and help to switch to other services, or to claim refunds.

It is also reminding customers who need to travel to check timetables online before they set out.

GWR added: "We will be keeping the timetable under review, particularly given the new national lockdown in England, and will work with the Department for Transport on any further changes.

"We are determined to maintain a reliable, effective service for key workers and essential travel and our operations team are working very hard to make sure everything is in place to do so."