Bus and rail companies move towards reduced timetable

In an open letter on Sunday, Rail Delivery Group said it's in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Emergency: Bus and rail companies will introduce reduced timetables. Pixabay
Emergency: Bus and rail companies will introduce reduced timetables.

Bus and rail companies across Scotland are getting ready to move to reduced timetables from Monday.

McGill’s Buses – which operates more than 110 routes throughout the west of Scotland – said its move to an emergency timetable was to “protect” jobs amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Lothian Buses also intends to reduce services from Monday.

ScotRail said changes to its timetables were necessary as availability of its staff as well as those at Network Rail Scotland have been affected, while there have also been changes to customer demand.

It said that reducing the number of trains in service will give more time for extra cleaning on trains and in depots, as well as more targeted cleaning at stations.

In an open letter on Sunday, the Rail Delivery Group – a membership body that brings together passenger and freight rail companies, Network Rail and High Speed 2 – said: “These are exceptional times. COVID-19 is changing how everyone in the UK lives, works and travels. 

“But we know that Britain’s railway is a vital artery that keeps the economic and social lifeblood of the nation connected through this challenging period.”

The group said the reduced timetable – with half the number of trains running compared to a normal weekday – was not an easy decision, but “means that key workers like nurses, police officers and firefighters will continue to be able to get to their jobs over the coming weeks and months.”

The group added: “It means that freight trains will continue to deliver the goods that keep our supermarket shelves stacked and our power stations running.”

Reduced timetables

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