ScotRail has announced that it will temporarily reduce train services across Scotland due to a shortage of train drivers. The reduction in services comes as workers prepare to take strike action over their pay. Starting on Wednesday, July 10, ScotRail will be running approximately 1,660 services each day from Monday to Saturday. The train service provider states that the temporary timetable being implemented will offer customers greater certainty and reliability.

Although the times of the first and last trains on most routes will remain the same, there will be changes in the number of services provided during morning and evening peak times. For example, where there are usually four trains per hour during peak times, this will be reduced to a half-hourly service, similar to off-peak times.

The shortage of available train drivers for overtime or rest day work has led to these service reductions. ScotRail has been engaged in pay discussions with the rail trade unions, including ASLEF, RMT, TSSA, and Unite, over the past few weeks. A pay offer aligned with the Scottish Government’s public sector pay policy was presented on July 5 but was rejected by all four trade unions. ASLEF has indicated that it will propose a ballot for industrial action over pay to its Executive Committee.

Mark Ilderton, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, expressed apologies to customers for the service disruption. He emphasized the importance of certainty and reliability for customers, which is why a temporary timetable is being introduced to avoid last-minute cancellations. ScotRail is utilizing all available trains in its fleet to ensure that customers can still travel during this period.

The temporary timetable is said to provide more than 515,000 seats each day, and customers are urged to check their journey details on the ScotRail website or app before traveling. Refunds are available for affected journeys at no extra cost, and customers can also choose to travel on an alternative service or on a different day.

ScotRail reassures customers that they are committed to continuing discussions with the trade unions to reach a mutually acceptable pay offer. The temporary timetable will be updated on the ScotRail website and app by 10pm on Monday, July 9, with weekend timetables available by Thursday evening. Customers are encouraged to stay informed and plan their journeys accordingly.