ScotRail to resume full timetable next week after pay deal agreed

The rail operator had cut almost 700 services a day under a temporary timetable in May, amid the dispute with drivers.

15 July 2022

ScotRail is to return to its full timetable from Wednesday, with almost 700 more services running each day.

The rail operator had been forced to slash services on routes across Scotland amid a dispute over pay, which saw drivers refuse to work overtime or on rest days.

A temporary timetable had to be introduced on May 23 – just weeks after ScotRail was brought into public ownership – in a bid to reduce the number of trains that were cancelled at short notice.

Drivers in the Aslef union have now voted to accept an improved pay offer – which includes a 5% wage increase, more money for rest day and Sunday working and a policy of no compulsory redundancies for the next five years – and ScotRail said that means it can restore services from July 20.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, told how it had been a “challenging few months”, with travellers impacted by the reduced services.

He said: “We are delighted to be able to reintroduce the timetable, adding almost 700 services each day, and delivering the service that our customers expect and deserve.

“It has been a very challenging few months, impacting those across the country who rely on rail travel and on our staff too.

“It is a big step forward to reach such a positive resolution and continue in our efforts to provide the safest, greenest, and most reliable railway we can.

“We thank customers for their patience through this period.”

Transport Scotland said it welcomed the reintroduction of the full timetable, with a spokesperson adding: “Hopefully this will encourage more people to use rail services for work and leisure travel.

“We know this has been a challenging time for many passengers, businesses and communities and thank those affected for their patience.

“Ministers remain committed to making the nationalisation of Scotland’s trains a success and this includes looking to what the future might bring in a post-pandemic world where changing travel patterns and increasing leisure markets are key factors.

“ScotRail are also focused on reducing the reliance on rest day working and, assuming recruitment continues at the current rate, then they expect to bring on more than 200 new drivers the next 18-24 months.

“We recognise the efforts made by all parties to reach a favourable outcome to this pay dispute.”

While ScotRail is restoring services, train travellers in Scotland still face further disruption as other rail workers plan industrial action.

Network Rail workers are to walk out for 24 hours on July 27. During similar action last month, ScotRail could only run reduced services on five lines in the central belt.

Meanwhile LNER, which runs cross-border services between Scotland and London, is one of eight rail companies where workers are taking action on July 30.

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