ScotRail announces date for return of full timetable
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ScotRail has announced that it will reintroduce its timetable back to May 2022 levels from Wednesday, July 20, after members of the drivers’ union ASLEF voted to accept the improved pay offer.
It brings an end to the temporary timetable that has been in place since May 23 and means almost 700 services per day will be added for customers.
The temporary timetable had been introduced due to the impact of a significant number of drivers declining to make themselves available for overtime or rest day working, as they are entitled to do, during the pay dispute.
Like many train operators across Britain, ScotRail has relied on drivers working overtime or on their rest days.
In 2019, ScotRail committed to employing more drivers to phase out the reliance on this practice, however, the pandemic meant that driver training was significantly delayed.
Without Covid, ScotRail would have around 130 extra qualified drivers by now. That would have significantly reduced the need for drivers to work overtime and rest days.
With progress made in pay negotiations, the union put the pay offer to members with a recommendation to accept.
This recommendation led to members voting to accept, and ScotRail was notified of the results on Monday, July 11.
Work is now in progress to ensure that the timetable can be fully restored, with train planning staff working flat out to carry out the changes required for the near 700 services to be reintroduced.
This includes scheduling the movement of trains to where they need to be, with rosters for general grade staff and schedules for drivers being altered.
The train operator said that as part of this it is also managing some increases in Covid-related absences following the recent surge in infections across the country.
With events scheduled throughout the country in the coming weeks and months, including the Edinburgh Festival, this is a welcome step forward, and a huge boost for customers.
Customers can check on which services are running on the ScotRail website, or through the ScotRail app. These systems will be updated in the coming days.
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, 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.”