Rail passengers told 'eat breakfast' to avoid delays

Image caption c2c suggests passengers do not skip breakfast and not to board a train if they feel unwell

A rail company is advising customers not to skip breakfast following a rise in delays caused by ill passengers.

c2c, which runs services between south-east Essex and London, said it was launching a "customer awareness campaign" to offer "simple advice".

It suggests passengers get off at the next stop if they start to feel poorly, and do not board a train while unwell.

Delays caused by poorly passengers increased by 87% compared with the first three months of 2012, c2c said.

So far this year, the company has dealt with an average of six ill passengers each month, which typically cause an hour's delay, it said.

c2c managing director Julian Drury said: "We've recorded our best ever year for punctuality, and delays on c2c are rarer than ever.

"But one area where delays are increasing is when passengers fall ill - especially in peak hours, when a short delay to just one train can have a big knock-on impact on other services.

'Fainting and sickness'

"We know nobody wants to be ill onboard a train, and that's why we've issued this simple advice to passengers.

"Everyone wants to reduce the number of times incidents like this happen."

c2c said it calculated its figures based on the total number of minutes all trains are delayed by any incident.

So far in 2013, delays caused by ill-health have averaged at five hours and 48 minutes a month, compared with three hours and six minutes per month in the first three months of 2012.

A spokesman said the nature of illnesses have varied but included lots of cases of fainting and sickness and some more serious incidents.

"That's why we're advising people not to get on board, or to get off - if it's non-serious then fresh air can make them feel better and solve the problem, or if it's the start of something more serious we can then get an ambulance to them."

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