Lauren Gilmour, PA Scotland
Thu, 5 January 2023 at 2:45 am GMT
ScotRail has added additional services to its timetable following two days of new-year strike action.
The operator confirmed 23 services across the network would operate on Thursday after initially advising the same limited service as strike days would run.
Network Rail workers who are members of the RMT union took two days of strike action on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with a further two days of action on Friday and Saturday.
Routes will generally run until the timetabled final service, but passengers should check the website and ScotRail app.
The UK-wide dispute is becoming increasingly bitter, with the union accusing the UK government of “deliberately blocking” attempts to reach a settlement.
Gordon Martin, the RMT’s regional organiser in Scotland claims ministers were seeking to impose conditions the RMT “cannot and will not accept” including driver-only operation on trains, the closure of booking offices and cuts to maintenance schedules.
He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday morning: “The men and women we represent are very keen to be back at work serving the public, rather than standing on picket lines fighting for a fair offer.
“But the members know what is at stake – their jobs, their terms and conditions and the safety of the travelling public.
“We have had some warm words from the latest Transport Secretary but we need those warm words to go into action, and we need action on the real concerns.
“We need ministerial involvement, we need decision makers to be in the room, because we’ve had offers on the table that have then been taken off the table through UK Government intervention.
“We need them to intervene in a positive manner, not a negative manner, and let’s get this sorted and get people back to work.”
Liam Sumpter, route director for Network Rail Scotland, said previously: “We understand the impact this strike will have and we are working hard to keep as many passengers as possible moving during the next phase of RMT industrial action.
“We remain committed to working with the RMT to find a solution to this dispute, but we also need to agree a deal that is fair on the taxpayers who fund our railway.”
ScotRail have added the following services on Thursday, in addition to the 12 already running:
– Inverness – Perth.
– Inverness – Aberdeen.
– Inverness – Wick & Kyle.
– Aberdeen – Edinburgh.
– Perth – Edinburgh.
– Glasgow Queen Street – Fort William / Mallaig / Oban.
– Ayr – Stranraer.
– Carlisle – Dumfries.
– Ayr – Glasgow Central.
– Gourock – Glasgow Central.
– Neilston – Glasgow Central.
On the two remaining strike days on Friday and Saturday, the operator will return to the strike timetable, with 12 routes across the central belt, Fife and the Borders running between 7.30am and 6.30am.
These routes will be:
– Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High: two trains per hour.
– Edinburgh Waverley – Helensburgh Central: two trains per hour.
– Glasgow Central – Hamilton/Larkhall: two trains per hour.
– Glasgow Central – Lanark: two trains per hour.
– Edinburgh Waverley – Glasgow Central via Shotts: one train per hour.
– Edinburgh Waverley – Cowdenbeath: two trains per hour.
– Edinburgh Waverley – Tweedbank: two trains per hour.
– Edinburgh Waverley – North Berwick: one train per hour.
– Edinburgh Waverley – Larbert: one train per hour.
– Glasgow Queen Street – Larbert: one train per hour.
– Glasgow Queen Street – Falkirk Grahamston: one train per hour.
– Milngavie – Springburn: two trains per hour.
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We have worked really hard to add more services to the timetable for Thursday.
“We’re pleased that customers will have more travel options throughout the day.
“However, we are still advising customers to check their journeys before they travel and we’re reminding them that we will have to revert to our strike timetable on Friday and Saturday, which we know will be really frustrating for them.
“The widespread disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT is really disappointing coming at a time when we need to be encouraging more people back to the railway.”