ScotRail cancel hundreds of trains due to driver shortage

Furious travellers have hit out at ScotRail “shambles” after hundreds of services were cancelled due to shortage of drivers.

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Due to last-minute cancellations across the country some passengers didn’t know their train wasn’t running until they arrived at the station.

ScotRail confirmed it cancelled about 320 services on Sunday, after it was unable to implement a temporary timetable due to “the complexities of pulling together such widespread changes”.

Hundreds of trains were cancelled on Sunday due to driver shortageHundreds of trains were cancelled on Sunday due to driver shortage
Hundreds of trains were cancelled on Sunday due to driver shortage

The nationalised operator is under mounting pressure to resolve its ongoing pay dispute with drivers which has seen them stop working overtime shifts, resulting in services being cut by one third.

Some extra late-night trains were put on for major routes on Friday and Saturday after the company was criticised for slashing services on its weekday routes.

However, evening trains from Edinburgh to Glasgow were cancelled as of 7.30pm on Saturday with no more trains available until 9.00pm on Sunday.

In a statement ScotRail advised passengers to use their app or website to check if their train was running.

In a tweet they said: “Replacement transport can’t be guaranteed and customers are asked to consider making their own arrangements,”.

On Sunday afternoon the website said that 27 of its 41 routes were experiencing major disruption, including Edinburgh to Bathgate, Borders, Fife Circle, and Edinburgh to Perth.

A total of 11 of 14 routes into and from Edinburgh Waverley were listed as facing major disruption and four of six routes to and from Glasgow Queen Street.

Customers logging into the app were told “trains are subject to short notice alterations on Sunday 29 May.”

Several commented it was a “shambles”, others branded it a “joke” while others said they were unable to go to or home from events in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

One woman tweeted: “At this rate I may have to quit my job as I have sight issues making me unable to drive and there are no buses from my area. It’s disappointing.”

Lothians MSP Biles Briggs said: “This is a nightmare. We’ve seen very significant disruption to people’s lives. I’ve heard from several people saying they can’t get to their work.

“The instability is making it impossible for people. The country is grinding to a halt and services between our major cities are so limited. I’m increasingly concerned about the impact on the economy too.

“Passengers are paying a huge price for this dispute and we don’t know how long it will go on. The Scottish Government could be bringing in retired drivers or looking at other, interim solutions. They are using the pandemic as an excuse to do nothing.”

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “Unfortunately, it was not possible to publish a temporary timetable for this Sunday. That means the normal timetable is in operation, and there are cancellations as a result. We apologise to customers and advise them to check their journeys before travel.”

A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, The Scotsman