Driver shortage hits Sunday train services

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A shortage of drivers means that train services on the Ayr-Stranraer line have been significantly affected on Sundays.

Although the three services in both directions will still run, passengers are facing long waits to travel on connecting trains from Ayr, whether heading north to Glasgow or south towards Stranraer.

The changes came into affect on Sunday (July 5) following an ongoing pay dispute between Scotrail and train drivers.

Many of the Sunday services on the Scotrail network rely on drivers volunteering but the pay dispute has meant a decline in volunteers.

That means passengers travelling on the 10.40am service from Stranraer on a Sunday won’t arrive in Glasgow until 1.36pm adding 30 minutes onto a journey time.

Passengers will have to wait 45 minutes for a connection after arriving at Ayr at midday.

The first train out of Glasgow on a Sunday to connect south is now at 11am instead of 11.55 with passengers left with a 50 minute wait for a connecting train after arriving at Ayr.

The last Sunday trains are also similar with passengers having to leave Glasgow at 5pm instead of 5.55 to make a connecting train at Ayr but are again left with a 50 minute wait. Passengers on the 7.40pm service from Stranraer will now not arrive in Glasgow until 10.36pm on a Sunday night. The mid-afternoon services are not affected with passengers arriving at Ayr at 3.53pm still facing a usual 20 minute wait if they wish to travel onwards to Stranraer.

Scotrail insist it is committed to ensuring services are kept on rural routes.

They are also focussed on reaching a pay agreement.

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said, “We’re getting round the table again today and are entirely focussed on reaching agreement on the pay structure over the next week or so.”