THE last train home for Scots on a Saturday night out has been brought forward by four hours in some parts amidst ongoing nationalised ScotRail disruption due to the train drivers' dispute.

The late train to some areas has disappeared in many areas - with final trips setting out before night outs have barely begun.

The timetable will hit big events on Saturday and Sunday including the Edinburgh Marathon Festival which starts on Saturday and continues into Sunday.

It is also likely to affect those attending the Alice Cooper gig at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow on Saturday.  The city also hosts the 2022 UCI BMX Racing World Cup.

Train drivers are currently considering an improved pay deal from ScotRail following the latest round of talks to end chaos on the network.

Union Aslef say they will ask their members about the 4.2% wage increase suggested by ScotRail in a bid to bridge the gap in the long running dispute.

The emergency Sunday timetable has yet to be published but Saturday’s has now been confirmed.

Major routes such as the busy Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh service are affected with the final train leaving each way at 10.15pm.

But the last train on the Central Scotland line from Glasgow Queen Street through Bishopbriggs, Lenzie, Stirling and Alloa which is usually around midnight has been brought forward to 7.49pm. The last official train on the line from Glasgow is 10.15pm but only stops at Croy.

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The final journey to Neilston and Newton from Glasgow Central passing through city stations such as Shawlands and Kings Park is 7.45pm. You have to be ten minutes earlier to get use the service to get to other city stations such as Queens Park, Mount Florida and Cathcart and those outside the boundary such as Muirend and Williamwood.

On the Glasgow Queen Street to Falkirk Grahamston service, which goes through Robroyston, Stepps and Cumbernauld, the last train is 7.26pm.

Those planning on travelling on the Edinburgh to Perth and Dundee via the Fife Circle route are warned that the final train leaving Waverley is at 8.03pm, with the last train from Dundee to Edinburgh on the same route leaving at 8.45pm.

When the Herald tried to use the ScotRail website to plan multiple journeys for the new Saturday timetable as suggested, it returned with error messages.

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The state-controlled service cut 700 rail services on weekdays from Monday due to a lack of drivers.

The emergency timetable cuts came after over 1800 trains were cancelled at the last minute over 15 days and just over seven weeks after ScotRail was taken into public ownership by the Scottish Government in what ministers hailed a “historic” move.

ScotRail says the temporary but indefinite timetable has come as a result of the drivers' pay dispute which has meant some refusing to take up the option of working rest days and Sundays, crucial to keep trains running in Scotland.

While the ScotRail offer has been made, it will not yet bring an end to disruption to rail services this weekend.

In an update to passengers, ScotRail wrote: “We’re aware how much recent disruption has been affecting our customers and believe introducing a temporary timetable will provide greater certainty and reliability for those travelling.

Glasgow Times:

“We’ve been relying on drivers working overtime or on their rest days to run a normal timetable, as the pandemic meant that training new drivers was significantly delayed. Without Covid and that impact on training, we would have trained around an extra 130 drivers today.

“Following an announcement by the drivers’ union Aslef that it will ballot for industrial action over pay, a significant number of drivers have been declining to make themselves available for overtime or rest day working. This has resulted in the recent disruption and our need to introduce a temporary timetable going forward.

“We want to resolve this dispute with the trade unions and move forward together to provide the safest, greenest, and most reliable railway we can for Scotland.

“In the meantime, we’re asking customers to check your journey as your train times may have changed.”

The Night Time Industries Association has  warned that continued rail cuts puts at risk business and jobs as it will hit the ability of thousands to have a night out.

There have also been concerns that taxi drivers will not be able to take up the slack for those who want a night out post-Covid.

There has been previous concerns from the licensing trade that a post-Covid shortage of taxi drivers and private hire vehicles in Glasgow was already putting people off going on nights out.

It is estimated that as many as two-thirds of black cabs are set to be forced out of the city centre because of the introduction of car-free areas in Glasgow by 2026. in From June 2023, anyone whose vehicle does not meet Low Emission Zone green standards in Glasgow can be fined up to £480 - and this includes an estimated 1,000 black cab drivers in the city.

Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group said there are safety concerns for staff and the general public even with predicted reductions in numbers who venture out on nights out because of the cuts.