ScotRail has confirmed that the majority of its train services will be unable to operate next Monday and Tuesday if proposed UK-wide industrial action by RMT members goes ahead.
While final details of amended timetables will not be confirmed until later this week, in order to give customers as much time as possible to make alternative arrangements, ScotRail today released early details of the services it anticipates it will be able to run in Scotland on 25 May and 26 May:
MONDAY, MAY 25 ONLY
Glasgow Central – Paisley Gilmour Street
Glasgow Central – Neilston via Queens Park
Glasgow Central – Newton via Maxwell Park
MONDAY 25 & TUESDAY, MAY 26
Edinburgh – Glasgow via Falkirk High
Edinburgh – Kirkcaldy – Glenrothes
Edinburgh - Cowdenbeath - Glenrothes
Glasgow Central – East Kilbride
Glasgow Queen St (High Level) – Anniesland
Glasgow Queen St (High Level) – Cumbernauld
The above services are likely to run on a reduced basis and will operate largely between 07:15 and 17:45 hrs on the days listed. All other services will be cancelled all day Monday and Tuesday.
ScotRail has launched a dedicated web page www.scotrail.co.uk/strike where they will be posting timetables for the routes that will be running during the strike.
Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said: “If this UK-wide industrial action goes ahead as planned, the impact on customers is going to be severe. For the vast majority of people in Scotland, there will be no train service at all on these two days.
“We will only be able to run a handful of services, and those that we are able to run will operate on a reduced service. Those services will be much busier than usual, so if customers are able to make other arrangements, I would kindly ask them to please do so.
“We have released this information early because it is our priority to make sure that our customers have enough time to make decisions about their journey.
“We have been in contact with employers and business organisations to let them know about the impact of the strike. We are also in touch with local authorities, the NHS and other public bodies to make sure that they are fully aware of what is happening.
“I am disappointed that our customers have to experience this level of disruption. We are doing everything we can to safely run as many services as is possible under the circumstances.
“I am asking customers to please take action now and to make alternative travel arrangements for Monday and Tuesday. Visit our special web page daily during the run up to the strike and use our JourneyCheck alert service, or the ScotRail app from Saturday onwards to make sure you have the most up to date information about your journey.
“I know that many people right across the country are going to be seriously inconvenienced by this UK-wide industrial action. I am genuinely sorry that, under these circumstances, we cannot run our normal levels of train services that our customers expect. I hope that by releasing the information early, we are giving customers and employers enough time to plan ahead and make other plans.”
Network Rail has issued a legal challenge to the TSSA union over its bank holiday strike, saying there are “numerous defects” in its ballot.
Meanwhile members of the TSSA voted to join RMT union workers in the action over pay and jobs.
The ballot of the RMT, the largest rail union with 16,000 members, has not been challenged.
The TSSA’s leader said: “We want to settle this around the negotiating table, not in the High Court.”
Manuel Cortes added: “We are frankly puzzled as to why (Network Rail) are taking this legal route whilst talks continue at Acas to solve this dispute and avert next week’s strike action.”
Six hours of talks between Network Rail, the RMT, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association and the Unite union at Acas aimed at averting the strike took place on Monday.