REPRESENTATIVES from across the political spectrum have called for full-time train services between Alloa and Glasgow to be reinstated.

As reported in today's Advertiser, ScotRail announced the temporary timetable had come into force on Monday, May 23, severely reducing the availability of train services between Alloa and Glasgow.

The changes were announced as a long-running overtime dispute continues.

The last train from Glasgow back to Alloa will now be at 7.49pm rather than 11.22pm.

Mid Scotland and Fife Labour MSP Alex Rowley said: “While I welcomed the move to nationalise ScotRail after its disastrous stewardship under Abellio, it would appear the SNP have only managed to herd the service into another disaster for the public.

“The cuts to services announced are a ScotRail-imposed curfew and an unacceptable removal of services from the people of Alloa that must be reinstated as a matter of urgency.

“Slashing services will affect residents of Alloa in many different ways, from creating difficulty for workers commuting to and from the nation's largest city to something as simple as enjoying a night out.

“Instead of removing services, the Scottish Government should instead be working to resolve the issues raised by drivers and their union, ASLEF.

“It is particularly insulting to see ScotRail blame workers for these disruptions as they can't get volunteers to give up their free time and rest days to work for the understaffed service.

“I don't think I'm the only one who would prefer train drivers, responsible for the safety of thousands of passengers a day, to be well-rested rather than working overtime on what should be rest days.

“It is for ScotRail to appropriately staff their service, not for drivers to work around the clock to plug the gaps from poor staffing.

“I have requested an urgent meeting with the minister for transport to find out what is being done to immediately resolve this untenable situation.”

Keith Brown, MSP for the Clackmannanshire and Dunblane constituency, said: “A temporary timetable has, unfortunately, proven necessary because of the current dispute.

“The Scottish Government wants that dispute to be settled as soon as possible but this avoids unplanned cancellations for passengers.

“The Scottish Government is focussed on agreeing a fair and affordable agreement, and ensuring ScotRail continue to take action to reduce reliance on rest-day working.”

Local Scottish Conservative Mid-Scotland & Fife MSP Alexander Stewart described the cuts as ‘devastating’.

He said: “Every day, hundreds of services are being cancelled at the last minute.

"From [May 25] there will be even more cuts which amount to 700 services lost per day which is almost a third of the railway’s output.

“These cuts will also be devastating for businesses in the Wee County and all over Scotland, many of whom are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic and they risk facing another lost summer.

“With such terrible handling of the negotiations by the SNP when can passengers expect normal service to resume?

“After just seven weeks, nationalisation is already proving a disaster and has hit the buffers.”