Fife rail users to have say on ScotRail's post-pandemic timetable
Rail passengers are being asked for their views on a proposed post-pandemic timetable.
ScotRail plans to cut 300 services a day from its pre-pandemic levels to save taxpayers up to £40 million a year.
The proposed changes from next May would see some 2,100 weekday trains running compared to 2,400 before the Covid crisis – or about one in eight fewer than in 2019.
The new “Fit for the Future” timetable would see many currently-reduced services continue.
In a public consultation launched last Friday, the operator said: “We have reviewed the timetable across the whole network to ensure that the service meets the needs of customers and the Scottish Government’s aims as Scotland recovers from the pandemic and in the future.
“We are proposing a new timetable operating around 2,100 services per weekday as the foundation to encourage a return to public transport following the pandemic.
"Most customers will find the number of calls at their station and the destinations served are similar to today.”
The new timetable would feature one train per hour between Edinburgh and Dundee calling at all stations via Kirkcaldy; one train per hour between Edinburgh and Perth calling at all stations via Dunfermline; one per hour between Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy calling at all stations via Kinghorn and one per hour between Edinburgh and Glenrothes with Thornton calling at all stations via Dunfermline.
Additional peak capacity would be provided between Edinburgh and Glenrothes with Thornton via Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline.
Through services between Fife and Tweedbank would be discontinued.
The evening timetable will see one train per hour to Dundee and one per hour to Kirkcaldy.
The operator said the changes were to address the large number of empty seats on several routes before the pandemic, when fewer than one in four were filled on a typical weekday.
It said: “Returning to our pre-pandemic timetable would result in our trains operating 26 million more vehicle miles each year for little customer benefit.
"As well as increased emissions, that would increase ScotRail costs to the taxpayer by £30 million to £40m each year.
"Our new customer-focused timetable will reflect predicted levels of service as well as the need to provide the best value for money for taxpayers.”