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Rail passenger numbers down by 90 per cent

By David G Scott

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Railway passenger numbers have been hit hard by the pandemic with figures released on Friday showing a 90 per cent reduction from a "normal" running service.

ScotRail said it will "continue to monitor passenger numbers which are currently around 90 per cent below normal" and make scheduling decisions based on demand.

Changes to the timetable, introduced last month, saw the number of scheduled services drop to around 81 per cent.

Train arriving in Wick last week.Picture: DGS
Train arriving in Wick last week.Picture: DGS

The revised timetable is part of the operator's "ongoing strategy to provide a critical service" during the Covid-19 pandemic.

ScotRail said its customers are continuing to benefit from a recent strong performance in the number of trains running on time across the network.

The new figures show that 93.2 per cent of trains met the rail industry standard "public performance measure" from December 13 to January 9.

David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: “In these extremely testing times, we are recording outstanding, and sustained, high levels of punctuality. We know that a dependable service is a top priority for customers who rely on our services through the pandemic."

Trains are running when needed most and delivering better value for the taxpayer, added a company spokesperson.

"At a time when businesses throughout the country are working under financial constraints, ScotRail is no different, and reducing services in a safe and controlled manner is part of that process," they added.

Mr Simpson said: “It’s a tribute to the hard work and dedication of ScotRail staff and Network Rail colleagues and we are determined to continue to deliver in order to make the railway the best public transport option available when the coronavirus pandemic is behind us and more normal times return.”

ScotRail announces cancellation of numerous Wick-Inverness services

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