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ScotRail has plans to cut around 700 rail services across Scotland from Monday

By Abbie Duncan

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RAIL users will be unable to travel between Aberdeen and Inverness late in the evening under new ScotRail timetable.

ScotRail's new timetable will begin on Monday May 23 and will see more than 700 services cut.
ScotRail's new timetable will begin on Monday May 23 and will see more than 700 services cut.

The new temporary timetable begins on Monday May 23 and will cut around 700 services a day across Scotland.

The plans will currently only affect weekday travel but ScotRail have confirmed that they are currently working on temporary timetables for Saturdays and Sundays, which will be 'broadly similar' to the Monday to Friday service changes.

Under the new plans, services on the Aberdeen to Inverness route will finish three hours earlier than their current departure times, with the last full route trains leaving from Aberdeen at 18:05 and Inverness at 18:18.

ScotRail claim that the changes will provide greater certainty and reliability for customers after hundreds of trains have been cancelled this month as a result of union action from rail drivers.

Due to driver shortages, ScotRail has depended on drivers working overtime and on rest days to maintain services but drivers are currently unwilling to continue this practice, following an announcement by the drivers’ union ASLEF that it will ballot for industrial action after rejecting ScotRail's offer of a 2.2 percent pay increase.

In 2019, ScotRail committed to employing more drivers to phase out the reliance on this practice, however the pandemic meant that driver training was significantly delayed.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “We are very sorry to customers for the disruption of recent days. We know what customers want more than anything is certainty and reliability, which is why we are introducing a temporary timetable.

“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.

“We’re asking customers to check their journey on our website, mobile app, and through our social media channels as train times will have changed.”

Customers can check ScotRail's new timetable here.

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