Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP today revealed that more than 700 peak-time seats have been lost on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line due to delays in rolling out the new fleet and the lease of existing trains expiring in the meantime.
In response to a written parliamentary question filed by Mr Rumbles, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf revealed that across both weekday peak periods 6,758 seats are now being provided on Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk services rather than 7,476 which were scheduled to operate up until the end of February.
Mr Rumbles said:
"In the week that it was revealed that nearly 900 ScotRail trains were cancelled between Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2017, it's extremely disappointing to have it confirmed that 718 peak-time seats have been lost due to delays in rolling out the new 385 HST trains.
"This means that not only are the new trains not in place, but existing trains are busier than ever.
"Passengers are already sick of overcrowded and unreliable trains and fare rises soaring above wage increases
"We still don't know how long commuters will be asked to go the long way round or endure trains that are even more packed than usual.
"The Transport Minister has repeatedly refused to set a deadline for resolving the carriage crisis. We need a clear plan that should include repercussions for the company in the event that Scotrail fail to deliver once again."
Notes to editors
15 March 2018 S5W-14999
Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Government how many fewer seats are available on ScotRail services as a result of the delay in rolling out 385 HST stock, and the consequent reduction to the number of carriages, and how this compares with the total number of seats normally available.
Humza Yousaf: There are 124 weekday services, 62 in each direction, on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High route. The allocation of carriages which are planned to operate until the introduction of the class 385 trains has taken account of measured passenger demand on particular services. 30 of the very busiest services are now running with more carriages and 100 extra seats per journey since December 2017, with seven carriages instead of six.
33 of the services are now running with fewer carriages than in December 2017: 18 with four carriages instead of six and 15 with three carriages instead of six. Across both weekday peak periods 6,758 seats are now being provided on Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk services rather than 7,476 which were scheduled to operate up until the end of February.