British rail operator TransPennine Express is to cut services between the North West of England and Scotland by almost 25% from next week.
TransPennine becomes the second major UK rail company to drastically cut its timetable due to staffing issues, following a similar move by Avanti West Coast last month. Both operators are part of FirstGroup’s First Rail subsidiary.
The revised TransPennine timetable will be introduced from Monday (12 September) and will reduce daily services from 40 to 31 trains on the Anglo-Scottish route.
The services to be cut include five daily trains between Manchester Airport and Glasgow Central Station, as well as two services between Manchester Airport and Lancaster, and one train from Edinburgh to Manchester Airport.
TransPennine said the reduced timetable was being introduced due to ‘sustained high levels of illness and a training backlog as a direct result of Covid’. The operator added that the changes were aimed at “providing a more stable and reliable service”.
Jerry Farquharson, director of service planning and performance at TransPennine Express, said: “Our customers want reliable and on-time rail services, and we are sorry that we have not been able to provide these due to the ongoing problems.
“Under normal circumstances, we have enough people to fully operate our planned schedule, but the combination of factors has placed unprecedented pressure on our ability to operate a consistent service.
“This temporary modified timetable for our services between the North West of England and Scotland will help us provide more stability and certainty for customers traveling on this route.”