PEOPLE using train services today (Sunday) are being warned to expect disruption - and extremely busy trains - due to low staff numbers.

Great Western Railway is warning customers of significant disruption to services and has lifted ticket restrictions to enable people to travel before the disruption hits.

The firm put the problems down to a number of factors, including on-going engineering work; the World Cup Final taking place; the continuing good weather, and the start of the school holidays in some regions, meaning there was a significant drop in available staff.

A revised timetable will be in place today, with a significantly reduced number of trains in operation.

Long-distance services – including routes between Paddington and Bristol, South Wales, Oxford and Devon and Cornwall will be most affected, with some changes to suburban services in the West.

Trains that do run will be extremely busy.

GWR managing director, Mark Hopwood, said: “We will have managers and volunteers throughout our network to help at stations and on board, but unfortunately we will not be able to deliver our planned timetable of services; and the trains we are able to operate will be extremely busy.

“I would encourage customers to travel on a different day if they are able to and we will happily offer refunds to those who choose not to travel.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this disruption will cause.”

ocal stopping services in the Thames Valley are expected to run as normal.

Passengers are advised to travel as early as possible, and to consider switching their travel plans to alternate days. 

To help with this, ticket restrictions have been removed from services on Monday, so that customers with tickets for Sunday, including Advance fixed train tickets can travel on other services.

Ticket acceptance has also been agreed with CrossCountry trains.

Full details of the revised timetable are available online.

Those who choose not to travel will be entitled to a full refund on their unused ticket (the GWR £10 administration fee is also waivered).