Edinburgh trains: Temporary timetable with 600 fewer services comes into force

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A temporary timetable which halves the number of peak-time trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow came into force today as ScotRail insisted it was working hard to reduce driver shortages.

The rail operator announced yesterday it was moving to the new timetable after several days of widespread cancellations due to train drivers being unwilling to work on their days off. It comes as train drivers’ union Aslef prepares to ballot members on industrial action in a pay dispute.

The timetable, which will remain in operation indefinitely, involves the withdrawal of about 600 services, including cutting peak-hour trains like those between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street from every 15 minutes to every half-hour.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Aslef Scottish organiser Kevin Lindsay said publicly-owned ScotRail had said it was bound by Scottish Government public sector pay policy and had made a take-it-or-leave it offer, but his members had rejected it.

He said: “They were quite happy to give MSPs a 6.7 per cent pay rise - are they not part of the public sector? Thy were also quite happy to raise rail fares by 8.9 per cent. So it’s about how you spend the money, where you spend the money and about making choices.”

He said he expected Aslef and several other unions to ballot members soon over industrial action, but said there had been no action yet.

“Individual drivers have made a decision not to work their days off, which is their entitlement - they’re contractually allowed to have a day off every week - and ScotRail just clearly don’t have enough staff to run the service without the goodwill of their workers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“To run a business when you’re relying on overtime and the goodwill of your staff to cover 25 per cent of your service you’re not in a position to put a poor and derisory pay offer to your staff.”

ScotRail managing director Joanne Maguire apologised to customers who had been hit by cancellations, and said the company had introduced the temporary timetable to give people certainty so they could plan their journeys.

She said: “Like all train operators across the UK, ScotRail relies on an element of rest-day working. Right now we are recruiting and training 160 drivers per year - the largest ever volume of recruitment we’ve ever seen. We are working really hard to reduce our reliance on rest-day working.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.