Scotland

ScotRail dispute: Labour calls for minister to intervene

scotrail Image copyright PA

Scottish Labour has urged the transport minister to broker a deal between unions and ScotRail to head off planned industrial action.

The RMT union is planning two further days of strike action in an ongoing dispute with ScotRail over driver-only trains.

Labour urged Humza Yousaf to meet the parties in a bid to end the stalemate.

Transport Scotland said the minister had already engaged with both sides to find a solution.

The RMT plans to hold two further 24-hour strikes, on Sunday 24 and 31 July, after the failure of talks through the conciliation service Acas.

Labour's transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: "Rail passengers have already faced significant disruption this summer due to infrastructure work on the Queen Street tunnel and Glasgow Subway causing delays and cancellations.

"The new UK transport secretary said resolving the dispute on Southern Railways was his 'top priority'. The SNP government should start to take seriously the real concerns of ScotRail staff and get a grip of this situation."

Safety claims

The RMT opposes any extension of driver-only trains and wants guards to be in control of operating doors, which it claims is a safer system.

But ScotRail has said 59% of customers already travel on a train where the doors are safely opened and closed by the driver, and that a second person would always be scheduled to be on board trains to help customers.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: "Everyone wants to see an end to these strikes, Scotland's rail passengers most of all.

"The minister for transport and Transport Scotland officials have engaged with both sides throughout to find a solution, which we still believe lies in meaningful discussion.

"To this end we would call on both parties to get around the table and find a way to end these strikes once and for all.

"The Scottish government's resilience committee has met regularly since this period of disruption began to ensure that proper planning and contingency measures have been in effect to minimise disruption for passengers."

Transport Scotland said it had been assured by ScotRail that over 80% of services would run as normal this weekend.

Passengers are advised to check the ScotRail strike information web page before they travel.

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