MORE than 50 nationalised ScotRail train services have been cancelled today - despite the timetable being slashed due to driver shortages to provide greater certainty and reliability.

The rail operator, which was taken over by the Scottish Government on April 1,  decided to cut half of the services running on the last day of the bank holiday weekend amid driver shortages in a dispute over a “derisory” pay rise offer.

It comes after 700 services were hit last Sunday due to staff shortages as ScotRail said they were unable to bring in an emergency timetable.

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On Sunday passengers were told of 51 service cancellations across Scotland due to the same driver shortages that brought about the emergency timetable including certain Glasgow to Edinburgh link trips.

A further 29 services have also been curtailed by either cutting carriages, or missing stations.

Among the services axed on Sunday morning was the 10:16 Glasgow Central to Edinburgh service; the 10:20 Alloa to Glasgow Queen Street trip; the 10:20 Glasgow Central to Gourock service; the 10:36 Glasgow Central to Newton Lanark trip; the 10:47 Tweedbank to Edinburgh service; the 10:50 Glasgow Central to Wemyss Bay trip; the 11:00 Glasgow Central to Ayr service; the 11:09 Newton Lanark to Glasgow Central trip and the 11:20 Dundee to Edinburgh service.

The nationalised service cut a third of services from the timetable from May 23 due to a lack of drivers - while an average of 120 a day were cancelled during the previous 15 days of rail chaos with problems blamed on an industrial dispute over pay.

Some drivers are refusing to work overtime or on rest days including Sundays - essential to keep Scotland's trains running - during the dispute.

But the train drivers union Aslef has said that ScotRail had gone to far with cutting services and that some drivers have been sitting around doing nothing.

The service is facing months of chaos, after a 'final' 4.2% staff pay offer was rejected without ever being put to train drivers in an expected verbal referendum.

Aslef accused ScotRail of a "knee jerk" reaction to a host of cancellations and said that the excess train drivers was the reason why ScotRail bosses were able to put on extra late trains at the 11th hour last weekend and for the Scotland v Ukraine World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

ScotRail said every effort was made to protect the services used most by key workers, and those generally busiest on routes across Scotland.

Transport minister Jenny Gilruth, who said the 'temporary' timetable would give passengers “a more stable and reliable service” has previously stated that there were plans to end the reliance on rest day working, including Sundays to keep Scotland’s trains on the tracks - with 130 drivers in the pipeline.

But union leaders, who are due to resume talks over the pay dispute on Monday, warned that recruitment plans will not end a staff shortage which led to cancellations and the timetable cuts.

Yesterday there were still no driver jobs being advertised on the ScotRail website.

ScotRail has been faced with a host of complaints from the general public over the introduction of the cuts.

The Sunday emergency timetable has already seen services on the main line between Edinburgh and Glasgow cease at 10:00pm – 90 minutes earlier than normal.

The last train between Scotland's capital and Aberdeen leaves at 7:15pm and includes a change in Dundee, while those travelling from Edinburgh to Inverness will have to change in Perth when their service leaves at 5.50pm.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: "We’re sorry to customers for the disruption on Sundays over recent weeks so this temporary timetable will provide greater certainty and reliability for customers.

"We’re incredibly disappointed and frustrated that Aslef bosses have rejected this improved pay offer. It’s astonishing that they will not even put this offer to their members.

"Our substantially improved pay offer reflects the cost-of-living challenges faced by families across the country, while balancing it against the need to provide value for the taxpayer."

He added: "We have offered to meet Aslef but, in the meantime, would urge them to reconsider this offer in the interest of their members and the future of the railway in Scotland.

"We’re asking customers to check their journey on our website, mobile app, and through our social media channels as train times will have changed."