Scotland: First day of several strikes by Scotrail


ScotRail workers began 1st of a series of 1-day strikes in dispute over plans to introduce more driver-only trains. Strike dates Jun 23, 25, 26 and July 3,10,17

Commuters faced travel misery as the first in a series of planned rail strikes led to an increase in rush-hour congestion.

Traffic Scotland warned traffic was “much heavier than normal this morning due to the rail strike” and c ongestion in Edinburgh city centre caused disruption to tram journeys.

Train operator ScotRail estimated about 30% of its services were unable to run, hitting tens of thousands of passengers, due to the 24-hour walk-out in a dispute over driver-only trains.

A total of 15 routes, including Glasgow to Inverness and Edinburgh to Aberdeen, were cancelled while the frequency of other services was cut in half.

An Edinburgh Trams spokesman said there were “significant delays” caused by city-centre congestion and services were shortened.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which is opposed to the extension of driver-only and driver-controlled services, balloted ScotRail conductors last month, saying it had not received the assurances it had sought on the issue from the company.

These included guarantees the safety role of conductors and their role in operating train doors would not be reduced or abolished.

Guards at the RMT backed walkouts by a ratio of 3:1, prompting the union to announce seven days of strikes during June and July.

The first day-long strike got under way first thing on Tuesday after planned peace talks failed on Monday.