A rail union claims controversial proposals to cut some ScotRail services in Tayside and Fife have been rejected by staff.
The operator is consulting on plans to run about 300 fewer services across the country when its new timetable comes into effect in May 2022.
RMT bosses say that of about 400 ScotRail workers surveyed, 96% say the changes will affect passengers negatively.
In addition, 89% believe the cuts will actually deter passengers from the rail network and push more people back into cars.
Rail union RMT calls for new @ScotRail timetable plans to be scrapped as survey of company workers says proposals will have negative impact on passengershttps://t.co/U5lKhv9a5I pic.twitter.com/O8QZglRrdU
— RMT (@RMTunion) September 29, 2021
The union says this would make a mockery of the Scottish Government’s climate change targets, as it gears up to host the COP26 climate change conference.
It comes as ScotRail bosses get set to face disgruntled Tayside and Fife passengers on in an online public meeting on Wednesday.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the union, said: “RMT’s frontline ScotRail members know first-hand that these proposed service cuts will be terrible for passengers and Scotland’s railway.
“Rather than rebuilding Scotland’s railway after the pandemic, these cuts will deter passengers from the rail network and push more people into cars.
“RMT is calling on the Scottish Government, which is managing the ScotRail franchise, to listen to this indisputable message from frontline rail workers that the cuts will push passengers away from the rail network.”
Pandemic ‘has changed how people travel’
However, ScotRail argues that the effects of coronavirus mean customer numbers and revenue are at just 50% of their pre-pandemic levels.
A spokesperson said: “The pandemic has changed how people travel across all of Scotland and our services need to reflect that.
“That’s why we are now in the process of designing new timetables to accommodate future levels of passenger demand.
“These proposals offer more services than are running today and are a new foundation for us to build on as we continue to recover and build a greener, more sustainable railway.
“We are proposing a new, better performing timetable with focus on improved punctuality and reliability, which we know is a priority for our customers.”
The operator says rail remains the “most sustainable mode of public transport”, and that people must “work together to continue to modernise the railway”.
Chance for passengers to ‘shape’ rail services
Transport Minister Graeme Day previously said: “Organisations up and down the country are reflecting on how they can provide great customer service while at the same time ensuring their businesses are fit for the future.
“Rail is no different and that is why it is essential ScotRail review changes in travel patterns across Scotland so that timetables best meet demand.
“This consultation exercise offers an opportunity for customers and businesses to help shape a reliable and responsive timetable change from May 2022.”