A Cross-border row has erupted after a publicly-owned train company announced it was dropping social distancing measures on trains travelling between England and Scotland as restrictions.

With restrictions coming to an end in England, LNER — which is owned by the UK Government — said it would operate under "English guidance" when in Scotland to provide customers with "consistency". 

However, while rules are relaxed sought of the border, guidance in Scotland continues to reccommend social distancing on trains, with Transport Scotland telling travellers not to board carriages which are too full. 

LNER's decision has been criticised online, with Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie saying the train operator should follow the "most responsible guidance".

He Tweeted: "You could provide "consistency" by using the most responsible guidance, to keep people safer everywhere."

Ebinburgh MSP Angus Robertson wrote: "LNER is a train company owned by the UK Government.

"Is it still maintaining that when it operates in Scotland it is going to disregard Scottish public health and safety coronavirus rules?

"This is as tenable as Boris Johnson's exemption from social distancing regulations."

SNP MP John Nicholson tweeted it was "not acceptable" for the company to "pick and choose the rules and reccomendations" it follows. He has written to the company's Chief Executive for clarification.

An LNER spokesman said: “Whilst social distancing guidance remains in place in Scotland, we have taken the decision to operate the same seating/reservation approach on all our services, including our cross-border services, to ensure a consistent experience for customers.

"To provide customers with comfortable journeys on LNER services and give confidence that trains will not be overcrowded, Seat Sure means that most seats will require a reservation.

"To protect the flexibility of the walk-up railway, there will be a number of unreserved seats in Coach C for Standard and a number of seats in Coach M in First Class, or Coach E in First Class in a five-coach train.

The spokesman added: "Customers without a reservation will be able to travel in these unreserved areas of the train. To ensure customers can travel with confidence, LNER is continuing to deliver record levels of enhanced cleaning onboard its trains and in stations.”