STAFF shortages have forced Great Western Railway to reduce the number of trains running in and out of Somerset tomorrow – with customers warned they may be better off travelling early or delaying their journey.

An amended timetable has been put in place for trains between London and Penzance, as well as some other Great Western Railway (GWR) routes.

The company has warned that where trains are able to run they are expected to be very busy.

GWR said that in order to keep passengers moving, some London Paddington to Penzance services will terminate at Exeter, where customers will be able to change for local services towards Plymouth and Penzance.

Services between Exeter and Plymouth will be supported by additional road vehicles, which is likely to add up to an hour to journey times.

A GWR spokesperson said: “The amendments have come about because an unusually high number of rail staff are not available to work.

“While newer GWR contracts include Sunday working, not all railway workers are contracted to work on Sundays.

“GWR is working with colleagues and trade unions to make Sunday contracted hours more consistent across the business.”

GWR said those with tickets for travel tomorrow will be allowed to travel either today or Monday, December 16 when GWR will be operating its full timetable.

The usual compensation arrangements are in place should customers be delayed, and customers who choose not to travel will be entitled to a refund.

GWR is offering to waive the administration fee for those who choose not to travel.