New ScotRail timetable launched as one third of services are cut
State-run ScotRail is to take almost one in three of its services off the timetable as staff shortages continue, it has been confirmed.
A temporary timetable will come into force on Monday, with around 600 services axed.
The staff shortage is related to an ongoing pay dispute and the new development comes around one month after the nationwide rail operator was taken into public hands.
ScotRail advised travellers: "Please check your journey as train times on your route may have changed."
Appearing in the Scottish Parliament earlier, transport minister Jenny Gilruth was asked about the progress of talks between the Scottish Government and ScotRail about services returning to pre-pandemic levels.
She said the timetable will be kept under review.
However, Conservative MSP Russell Findlay said Gilruth had made no reference to the immediate timetable revision. Saying she is the minister who is responsible for the "calamitous chapter", he said: "This will cause absolute misery for passengers up and down the country."
Gilruth said ScotRail's announcement would provide a "more stable and reliable service" amidst the industrial dispute, saying some drivers had chosen not to "take up the option of overtime and rest-day working", following moves by rail union Aslef to hold a ballot for industrial action over pay demands.
And she urged negotiations as the way forward.
Scottish Conservative transport spokesperson Graham Simpson said: "Not only are existing passengers being let down by these enormous cuts, but the SNP-Green government, obsessed with taxing cars off the road, will have no hope of increasing public transport use while it slashes services.
"With all the disruption of the past few years, it is quite an achievement that the SNP has managed to sink ScotRail to a new low."
The timetable cuts come after days of cancellations affecting services.
Apologising to customers, ScotRail service delivery director David Simpson said: "We want to resolve this dispute with the trade unions and move forward together to provide the safest, greenest and most reliable railway we can for Scotland.
"We remain open to further talks with the trade unions."