South Scotland MSP Martin Whitfield has slammed the announcement by newly nationalised ScotRail that it plans to cut rail services by a third due to staffing shortages.

The May 2022 ScotRail timetable had approximately 2,150 weekday services, but from next week this will be reduced by a third to 1,456. Evening travel has been affected on many routes, with last trains departing hours earlier than previously.

For example, the last Edinburgh to North Berwick service currently departs at 23:14, but from Monday the last train will be at 19:40.

Commenting on the news, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“It is only a matter of weeks since the Scottish government took over ScotRail, but it has already joined the long list of services bungled by the SNP. Rail services are being plunged into chaos, workers are being treated with contempt, and passengers are being left in the lurch.

“Rail users in East Lothian have already suffered years of overcrowding, delays and cancelled services and these latest cuts are just rubbing salt into the wounds. As we rebuild after Covid, rail services should be expanded, not reduced.

“SNP Ministers must take responsibility for fixing this mess – they have already cut services and failed to employ enough staff. It’s time for them to reverse their ScotRail cuts and ensure that the publicly-owned service works for the travelling public.”