Glasgow Queen Street ScotRail Class 385 EMU

UK: The Emergency Measures Agreements which temporarily vary the terms of the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper franchises have been further extended from December 2021 until February 2022.

Under the EMAs, the Scottish government will continue to provide Abellio ScotRail and Serco Caledonian Sleepers with additional funding to cover necessary operating costs.

‘Given the challenging budgetary position in 2021-22, the agreements have been extended until February 2022 which will hopefully provide rail staff and suppliers with reassurance during this period’, Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey said on December 20. ‘The Scottish government will continue to work with our train operators, the rail industry and the UK government during the coming months to understand the ongoing impact of the pandemic.’

Meanwhile, ScotRail has introduced a temporary timetable from January 4 until at least January 28, designed to provided passengers with more certainty about what services will operate during staff shortages caused by the impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

‘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’, said Operations Director David Simpson on January 2.

Robert Samson, Senior Stakeholder Manager at Transport Focus, said ‘it is better for some services to be temporarily withdrawn on a planned basis than to have chaotic last-minute cancellations as these are harder for passengers to deal with. Passengers need clear, reliable information to plan their journeys and a timetable that is dependable.’