Edinburgh trains: 'Savage' ScotRail cuts 'will leave the Capital cut off from Fife and Glasgow from as early as 8pm
Edinburgh will be left cut off from major towns and cities thanks to ScotRail’s “savage” cuts to daily train services, an MSP has said.
ScotRail will cut its services by one third from next Monday because of cancellations caused by a drivers’ pay dispute, the operator confirmed on Wednesday.
Some 100 or more services a day were halted over the last week because of a “significant” number of drivers not working overtime, after they rejected a 2.2 per cent pay offer.
As part of the reduced timetable popular routes will be hit, including the Edinburgh-Fife/Dundee train which will see a last service at 8pm and the last Edinburgh-Glasgow service will be 10.15pm. Edinburgh-Tweedbank services will be reduced to hourly.
It has sparked concerns from local politicians over the impact on commuters and the local economy.
Lothians MSP Miles Briggs said: “This is completely unacceptable. It will leave the Capital cut off. Commuters need to be able to get home safely. It seems like we are a third world country, people unable to just get to work and get home safely. It will be devastating for the nighttime economy and a major concerns is we don’t know how long this could go on for. There’s no end in sight.
"The cuts are savage. SNP Ministers can’t justify how they have allowed this to occur. I’m concerned about how this will affect the functioning of our capital city. We shouldn’t be put in this situation and it will clearly undermine what the Scottish Government is trying to achieve on reducing carbon emissions, it will force people back to driving their cars. It will create huge disruption to the local economy at a time when many sectors are getting back on their feet and we are still trying to recover from the pandemic.”
ScotRail said it was also preparing reduced timetables for Saturdays and Sundays.
Chief executive officer Joanne Macguire told a meeting of passenger watchdog Transport Focus in Edinburgh that the indefinite reduction of around 694 weekday services is needed so ScotRail can provide a reliable service.
But she denied the company was being ruthless by cutting more services beyond current disruption levels, which have already reduced services by up to around 20 per cent.
Drivers union Aslef said the cuts would have “a devastating effect on passengers and their confidence in our railway.”