COVID in Falkirk: Train timetables hit by staff absences – these routes are affected
ScotRail is making timetable changes from the start of 2022 as it battles with a spike in staff absences because of Covid.
The train operator said some employees had reported positive tests - and others were having to self isolate after a close contacts with a person who has tested positive.
It’s the latest impact of the highly transmissible Omicron variant which has seen absences hitting a huge number of public and private sector businesses.
The staff shortages have led to temporary timetable changes which come into force from Tuesday, January 4.
They will remain in place until Tuesday, January 28, and will affect services mainly across the central belt.
Several services through Falkirk Grahamston have been hit.
The Glasgow-Edinburgh service via Cumbernauld has been withdrawn at the following times - 0633, 0735, 0934, 1637, 1735 Edinburgh – Glasgow; and 0700, 0756, 1656, 1756 Glasgow – Edinburgh.
But customers are urged to check to see which services are affected by the changes - and ScotRail stressed there will also be changes to the scheduled stops on some journeys.
David Simpson, operations director, said: “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.
“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.
He added: “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Robert Samson, Transport Focus senior stakeholder manager, added: “It’s better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations.
“Passengers need clear, reliable information to plan their journeys and a timetable that is dependable”
ScotRail will continue to review staff absence levels over the coming weeks.