West Midlands Railway has warned that rail users should expect an increase in short-notice cancellations as an increasing number of staff members are getting ‘pinged’ by the test and trace app.

The number of staff having to self-isolate has quadrupled in recent weeks and there are concerns this may continue to increase.

Over 100 extra drivers were recruited prior to the pandemic but covid restrictions has meant many remain untrained.

The company estimates it will take up to a year before all of its new train crew are qualified.

The firm is also asking passengers to continue to keep wearing face masks even after restrictions are lifted on Monday, July 19.

The company, who run many services through Worcester Foregate Street and Shrub Hill stations, are not making it a mandatory requirement but would like passengers to continue to wear face coverings, unless exempt.

Jonny Wiseman, West Midlands Railway Customer Experience director, said: “Even though Covid restrictions are easing from Monday, the message is, in crowded spaces, wear a face covering out of respect for others.

“We are keeping up the extra high standards of cleaning on our trains and stations that we implemented at the start of the pandemic.”