SCOTRAIL has announced plans to cut the capacity of trains to and from Helensburgh Central from next week.

The rail operator says that fewer seats are needed during the current tight lockdwon restrictions, which have seen the Scottish Government tell people to stay at home unless for a small number of essential reasons.

ScotRail issued a news release on Friday announcing that trains on the "North Electric" lines would see a reduction in capacity from six carriages to three from Monday, January 18.

The release said the lines affected would "include" Balloch-Airdrie and Milngavie-Springburn routes, but it did not specifically mention the Helensburgh-Edinburgh service.

However, after the Advertiser sought clarification from ScotRail, the company confirmed that a similar capacity cut will also take effect from Monday on Helensburgh services.

The change comes after ScotRail increased their carriage numbers from three to six to cope with Christmas demand, but it has now been confirmed that carriage numbers will reduce again.

David Simpson, ScotRail operations director, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have made multiple changes to services, ensuring that customers can travel safely and rely on ScotRail to get them to where they need to be.

“Following the enhanced restrictions, we are again making these alterations based on the current demand from customers, and it will allow us to keep on providing a critical service for those travelling.

“Like any business during the pandemic, we need to continue to make sensible financial decisions, and reducing the number of carriages means a reduction in costs for the taxpayer, while continuing to deliver a safe and reliable rail service.”

Services between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and between Glasgow and East Kilbride, will also be affected by the reduction in capacity.

It's expected that more changes to other routes will be announced soon.

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