The Scottish Government's transport minister has been urged to intervene in a row over seat reservations on north-east trains.

ScotRail announced last week passengers travelling between Aberdeen and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness would no longer be able to reserve specific seats on services from December 15.

The firm blamed the decision on the delayed arrival of high-speed trains, meaning three different types of trains with different seating configurations will be used on inter-city routes in the meantime.

As was reported by the Evening Express last week, ScotRail bosses insisted they were confident the temporary plan would be successful.

Fear over plans to axe bookings between north-east and Central Belt

However, the move was criticised by trade union bosses and a transport watchdog amid claims it would lead to a "free-for-all" on trains.

North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has now written to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson voicing his concerns over the issue.

In his letter, Mr Macdonald said he was writing to ask the minister to instruct ScotRail to "abandon those plans with immediate effect".

He added: "ScotRail's excuse is apparently they are incapable of managing seat reservations where they have more than one type of train on a route.

"That is frankly an astonishing admission, reinforcing the view that this company is not fit to run a railway."

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter

A spokesman for the national agency Transport Scotland said: "As ScotRail have stated on this occasion, and ministers have said many times before, our high-speed train suppliers Wabtec and Angel have a lot to answer for.

"The consequences of their delayed delivery continues to have a knock-on impact for passengers, including this most recent example.

"To be clear, it is the challenges and uncertainty presented by the supplier that has caused this situation to arise. However, we have sought assurances from ScotRail that this temporary system will be carefully monitored and we hope to see reservations reintroduced as soon as possible."

Continue Reading

on Evening Express