Scotland’s Railway responds to new restrictions

Last updated: Friday, 15 January 2021

ScotRail will reduce the number of carriages on some services from Monday (18 January) as the train operator continues to provide a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised lockdown restrictions announced by the Scottish Government this week have had a further impact on the number of people travelling, and fewer seats are needed to continue running a safe and reliable service.

With customer numbers down by almost 90 per cent compared to the same time last year, the changes will ensure that trains run when they are needed most, while delivering better value for the taxpayer.

The train operator’s ability to fully staff the different areas of the business has also been impacted by the latest restrictions, including staff having to shield and others having to self-isolate.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the alterations are being made based on demand and will allow customers to travel safely, while observing physical distancing guidelines.

The routes impacted from Monday include:

· Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High.
· North Electrics including Airdrie – Balloch and Milngavie – Springburn.
· East Kilbride.

Further changes are being planned for other routes, which may be implemented following a more thorough review of the demand from customers. This will include a reduction in the number of services operating from early February.

At a time when businesses throughout the country are working under financial constraints, ScotRail is no different, and making changes in a safe and controlled manner is part of that process.

Any changes being made will be constantly reviewed, particularly if there is any change to passenger numbers.

The operator is reminding passengers that the law allows only essential journeys on public transport. People who do have to travel by train should follow the five rules for safer travel, including wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance in stations and on-board trains.

Customers are reminded that they should only be travelling if they meet the criteria set out by the Scottish Government guidelines.

David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, said:

“Throughout the pandemic we have made multiple changes to services, ensuring that customers can travel safely and rely on ScotRail to get them to where they need to be.

“Following the enhanced restrictions, we are again making these alterations based on the current demand from customers, and it will allow us to keep on providing a critical service for those travelling.

“Like any business during the pandemic, we need to continue to make sensible financial decisions, and reducing the number of carriages means a reduction in costs for the taxpayer, while continuing to deliver a safe and reliable rail service.”