The Scottish Government is urging train travellers to plan their journeys tomorrow when the first of six rail strikes gets under way.
The industrial action on Tuesday (June 21) is the first in a series of planned strikes by members of the Rail and Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers union.
The dispute is over driver-only trains. RMT has a policy for no extension of driver-only trains on any route or service and for guards to be in full operational control of power-operated doors on trains.
RMT say more driver-only trains is an attack on staff’s terms and conditions as well as raising safety concerns for passengers as driver-only trains mean there is no guard operating the doors when people are boarding or alighting trains.
Services on the Glasgow to Edinburgh line via Falkirk High, Polmont and Linlithgow will be running at a reduced service on the six days the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has confirmed its members will strike on.
The Anniesland to Falkirk Grahmaston service will be cancelled with no replacement bus service in place.
Contingency plans for tomorrow’s strike were discussed at a second meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee, chaired by Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, today.
It’s estimated ScotRail will still be able to run around 70 per cent of services, but a Multi-Agency Response Team (MART), made up of representatives from Network Rail, ScotRail, Traffic Scotland, Police Scotland, and Operating Companies, say disruption will impact on passengers.
Mr Yousaf said: “If scheduled strikes go ahead, passengers should prepare for significant disruption on the railways on Tuesday. ScotRail has published information on how services will be affected, but we would also ask commuters to think now about the changes that they could make to help ease the pressure on the rail network.
“This could include working from home, car-sharing, avoiding travel at peak periods, or using buses to get to work.
“We are fully expecting roads to be busier as a result of the rail strike and we are working with partners to do all we can to manage the likely increase in traffic.
“The Scottish Government’s Resilience operation is actively monitoring developments and receiving regular updates from the ScotRail Alliance, Transport Scotland and other key stakeholders.
“We will be monitoring the network from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre and will be providing updates through the Traffic Scotland Twitter feed and website as well as internet radio. The Trunk Road Incident Support Service (TRISS) will be out from early morning patrolling the key parts of the network dealing with incidents as quickly as possible.”
Mr Yousaf is also urging to continue dialogue to avoid a strike.
He added: “It’s very disappointing to see industrial action set to go ahead on our railways and we continue to urge further dialogue between ScotRail and the RMT Union.
“The walkout will have a significant impact on rail passengers who depend on these services, so I urge both parties to get back round the table immediately and work towards an agreement so that strikes can be avoided.”
The other strike days will take place on Thursday, June 23, Saturday, June 25, Sunday, June 26, Sunday, July 3, Sunday, July 10 and Sunday, July 17.
For more information on journey information and advice visit www.scotrail.co.uk/strike.
Edinburgh - Glasgow
Linlithgow: starting at 7.05am running every hour until 7.05pm then another at 7.52pm. Some of these services are also running at four minutes past the hour.
Polmont: Starting at 7.12am running every hour 7.11pm then another at 7.58pm. Some of these services also run at 10, 11 minutes and 14 minutes the past the hour so check times when travelling.
Falkirk High: Starting at 7.17am running every hour until 7.16pm then another at 8.02pm. Some services also run at 16, 15 and 19 minutes past the hour so check times when travelling.
Glasgow - Edinburgh
Falkirk High: Starting at 7.33am running every hour until 7.35pm. Some services also run at 31, 34 and 35 minutes past the hour so check times when travelling.
Polmont: Starting at 7.38am running every hour until 7.40pm. Some services also run at 36, 40 and 39 minutes past the hour so check times when travelling.
Linlithgow: Starting at 7.45am running every hour until 7.46pm. Some services also run at 44 and 46 minutes past the hour so check times when travelling.