Unfortunately it’s one of those things which they’re simply never going to win.Its a chicken and egg situation, the TOC has a duty of care to both passengers and staff. Whatever the TOC does someone will says its wrong.
It isn’t great, and quite understandably doesn’t look good as trains are getting busier. However as someone who has been pleased to have the opportunity to utilised spare driving cabs over the last few months I can see how there would be a need for staff to be able to distance when in the workplace (which travelling pass is).
It’s making the best of a bad job unfortunately. The TOCs should think about whether they can provide extra carriages to make up the space, of course, but quite often this won’t be viable.