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ScotRail is to make temporary changes to its timetables from next week because of the continued impact of Covid.
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has resulted in a spike of Covid-related absences among ScotRail staff; some have tested positive, others are awaiting PCR test results, and many are self-isolating because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
These absences have had an adverse impact on ScotRail services, resulting in a number of services being cancelled or amended in recent weeks, mainly across Scotland’s central belt.
In order to provide a level of certainty about which services are running in the coming weeks, temporary changes are being made to the ScotRail timetable from Tuesday, 4 January 2022 and will be effective Mondays to Fridays until Tuesday, 28 January 2022. The changes are mainly focused across the central belt and, where possible, spread out across the day to minimise the impact on customers’ journeys.
Routes affected by the timetable revision include:
A full list of the changes can be found on the ScotRail website at http://www.scotrail.co.uk/timetable-update
David Simpson, ScotRail Operations Director, 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 Tuesday, 4 January until Tuesday, 28 January 2022.
“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Robert Samson, Transport Focus Senior Stakeholder Manager, said: “It’s better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations as these are harder for passengers to deal with.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.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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