ScotRail and its customers have felt the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks.
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has seen a spike of COVID-related absences among staff – who have either tested positive, are awaiting results, or are self-isolating as a result of being in close contact with someone who tested positive.
These staff absences have had an impact on ScotRail’s ability to run services across central Scotland, with a number of trains cancelled or amended in recent weeks.
ScotRail has been working flat out to run a safe and reliable railway in really difficult and continually changing circumstances. However, it recognises the need to provide a level of certainty to travellers.
From Tuesday 04 January 2022 ScotRail will introduce temporary timetable changes focused on routes where there is the highest incidence of staff absence.
Timetable amendments will be spread out across the day, where possible, in order to minimise the impact. This includes the removal of services from the timetable and changes to the scheduled stops of some services.
The changes will be in operation Monday to Friday until Tuesday, 28 January on the following routes:
Glasgow Central - Neilston / Newton Glasgow Central - East Kilbride Glasgow Central - Lanark Glasgow Central - Ayrshire / Inverclyde / Stranraer Glasgow Central - Edinburgh Waverley via Shotts Glasgow Queen Street - Edinburgh Waverley via Airdrie & Bathgate Glasgow Queen Street - Edinburgh Waverley via Cumbernauld & Falkirk Grahamston Glasgow Queen Street/Edinburgh Waverley - Stirling / Dunblane / Alloa Glasgow Queen Street - Anniesland via Maryhill Edinburgh Waverley - Dunbar / North Berwick Edinburgh Waverley - Fife Edinburgh Waverley - Newcraighall / Tweedbank
A full list of the timetable amendments can be found on the ScotRail website.
ScotRail will continue to review staff absence levels over the coming weeks in the event of a further spike in cases.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“During this difficult time for rail travellers in Ayrshire and beyond, the advice is to stay safe, continue to follow SNP Government guidance, and check your journey before travel in case of any unforeseen changes.
“ScotRail’s social media channels, especially Twitter, will also be giving out up to date information.”