ScotRail timetable change: Saturday nights out hit by service cuts as last trains now hours earlier

Revellers are set to be hit by rail service cuts this Saturday night, as the last train home in some areas being four hours earlier than normal, as one politician warned that organisers behind major events may shun Scotland due to the ongoing transport issues.

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The news comes as ScotRail continues in talks with drivers union Aslef to get Scotland’s railways moving once more amid a large number of service cancellations.

The pay row has resulted in drivers refusing to work on rest days or on Sundays, leading to short-notice cancellations before the introduction of the temporary timetable on Monday. Many services are driven by staff who do it as an overtime shift.

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Today Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Alex Cole Hamilton warned that event organisers could steer clear of Scotland due to the uncertainty on the country’s railways.

Saturday night services will be greatly reduced. Picture: John Devlin

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The lack of services is set to cause havoc across Scotland this weekend, with revellers facing having to cut their nights short due to Saturday’s services ending earlier than usual.

Trains between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife and Falkirk are among those affected, with the last train between Scotland’s two largest cities leaving at 10.15pm.

The last train back to Dundee, with stops in Kirkcaldy and Inverkeithing, leaves Edinburgh as early as 8.03pm.

Rock fans from Edinburgh may end up having to leave an Alice Cooper gig at the Glasgow Hydro early on Saturday in order to make the last train home at 10.15pm, with the gig expected to finish half an hour after the train leaves.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Mr Cole-Hamilton said: "Scotland's reputation as a host of major events is being trashed under the wheels of SNP incompetence. If this rail ​chaos goes on, organisers will think twice before planning to host events here. Ministers need to make a deal happen.

"Saturday's timetable is a nightmare for anyone trying to get home from Scotland's cities. Gig and theatre goers face having to take the car or end up out of pocket for taxis or hotels.

"Meanwhile runners and fans attending Sunday's Edinburgh marathon still don't have a timetable at all. It's farcical that they still don't know when trains will actually be running.

"If we want people to travel by rail it needs to be convenient and reliable. Instead, the SNP and Greens have taken just two months to wreck Scotland's rail network."

The last train from Glasgow Queen Street through Bishopbriggs, Lenzie, Stirling and Alloa which is usually around midnight has been brought forward to 7.49pm.

Talks on Thursday between the operator and drivers union Aslef resulted in an improved pay offer of 4.2 per cent.

However, even in the event of the union accepting the offer, it has been claimed that it could take as long as ten days to restore the full timetable.