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ScotRail reminding customers of temporary timetable changes due to Covid-19

By Gavin Musgrove

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Temporary changes to the ScotRail timetable begin tomorrow but mainly affect Central Belt services.
Temporary changes to the ScotRail timetable begin tomorrow but mainly affect Central Belt services.

ScotRail is reminding customers that it will make temporary changes to its timetable from tomorrow due to the continued impact of coronavirus.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has seen a recent spike of Covid-related absences among ScotRail staff – with some having tested positive, others awaiting PCR test results, and many who are self-isolating as a result of being in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Rail bosses said these staff absences have had an impact on ScotRail services – mainly across the Central Belt – and have resulted in a number of services cancelled or amended in recent weeks.

ScotRail has said it is making the temporary changes in order to provide customers with a level of certainty about which services are running in the coming weeks.

These are being spread out across the day where possible to minimise the impact on customers’ journeys, and will operate Monday to Friday until Friday 28th January.

The timetable changes mainly affect the Central Belt and a full list can be found on the ScotRail website here .

Customers should check to see which services are affected by the changes and they are also reminded that there will be changes to the scheduled stops of some services.

Where services have been cancelled, customers may be entitled to a refund on their ticket.

ScotRail will continue to review staff absence levels over the coming weeks in the event of a further spike in cases.

Operations director David Simpson said: “Like most businesses, ScotRail is not immune to the impact of coronavirus. We’ve been working flat out to run a safe and reliable railway in really difficult and rapidly changing circumstances.

“As we continue to battle against the impact of coronavirus, we want to provide customers with a level of certainty, which is why we are introducing some temporary changes to our timetable from tomorrow until Friday 28th January.

“We’ve looked to spread these changes out across the day where possible to minimise the impact on our customers but people should plan ahead and continue to check the train times right up until they arrive at the station.

“We urge anyone travelling with us to stay safe and continue to follow government guidance. This includes maintaining good hand hygiene and wearing a face covering for your entire journey.”

Robert Samson, Transport Focus senior stakeholder manager, said: “It’s better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations as these are harder for passengers to deal with.

“Passengers need clear, reliable information to plan their journeys and a timetable that is dependable.

"These temporary changes to the timetable should deliver an increased level of certainty for passengers.”

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