Train operating firm ScotRail prepares to reduce 300 rail services

Train operating company ScotRail has announced plans to reduce 300 rail services per day from its timetable.

ScotRail recently published its ‘Fit For The Future’ document, where it introduced plans for new timetables beginning May next year.

This comes after Scotland experienced its first Covid-19 lockdown period almost 18 months ago, which caused a massive drop of 90% in passenger numbers.

The company is now preparing to cut to 2,100 rail services from its pre-Covid number of 2,400 services a day in accordance with new travel patterns and overcapacity on some lines.

However, the BBC reports that railway unions have accused ScotRail of using the pandemic as a cover for cuts.

With the pandemic restrictions in place, the company has been operating more than 2,000 services per day.

ScotRail said in a statement: “Most customers will find the number of calls at their station and the destinations served are similar to today. However, there are some areas where there is greater change, which is being done for several important reasons.

“ScotRail analysis shows prior to the pandemic, on a number of routes across the country, significantly more seats were being provided than were required for the number of passengers travelling.”

To keep its services running, ScotRail received over $546.12m (£400m) in the form of emergency measures agreements from the Scottish Government.

Abellio currently operates ScotRail, but from next year, the government will take over from the Dutch firm through a ‘break clause’ in the franchise contract to end it three years prematurely.

Separately, Greater Anglia is set to operate additional trains next month as commuters are expected to return to the railway.

As planned, an extra 12 services every weekday and eight at weekends are being introduced to the Norwich to London Liverpool Street intercity service and two express Norwich in 90 services are being reinstated.

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