ScotRail cuts: Green MSP Gillian Mackay responds 'do I have to?' when quizzed over train service reductions

A Scottish Greens MSP turned to her party’s press officer for advice when asked whether it was Green to cut rail services in Scotland.

Gillian Mackay MSP asked a press officer “do I have to?” when quizzed about recent cuts announced over train services.

Ms Mackay made the comment when she was launching her Private Member’s Bill on abortion buffer zones outside the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

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The hesitation comes after ScotRail announced it will cut almost 700 services a day from Monday, due to a shortage of drivers in an ongoing pay dispute.

Gillian MAckay MSP paused and asked her party's press officer, “do I have to?” when quizzed about recent cuts announced over train services.

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After her presser nodded, the Central MSP said: “There’s obviously complexities with what's going on with rail services at the moment. Obviously we’d like the Scottish Government to engage with the unions to come to a satisfactory end so that commuters and everybody can go about their daily lives as easiest as possible.”

Ms Mackay’s reaction follows just a week after the operator, which was nationalised last month, launched a new timetable.

Hundreds of trains have been cancelled since May 8 when many drivers opted not to work overtime.

Drivers' union Aslef had balloted members for strike action after rejecting a 2.2 per cent pay offer.

The May 2022 timetable had around 2,150 weekday services and from next week this will be reduced by a third to 1,456.

Similar cuts are expected to be made to the Saturday and Sunday timetables, with details expected to be made public in coming days.

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