Rail strikes: Scottish Government’s resilience committee meet

Speaking after chairing the latest meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee regarding rail strikes planned for this month, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:

“The absolute priority throughout this process has been safety and encouraging a satisfactory resolution to this dispute. We have today again spoken with ScotRail and also written to the RMT calling on them to put their differences to one side and reach an agreement in order to minimise disruption for the public.

“In my letter to the RMT today I have reiterated that safety on the railways is the Scottish Government’s paramount concern which is why, after reading RMT’s publication ‘The Safety Critical Role of the Guard’, I took advice from the independent Rail Regulator (ORR) on the safety of driver controlled trains. On the basis of their scrutiny of this subject over a number of years, ORR have provided that reassurance. The ORR acts independently of both industry and government within a clearly defined legal framework and is therefore able to take decisions which are objective, impartial and transparent.

“We thank the travelling public for their continued patience. The contingency planning put in place by ScotRail has worked well so far, but we do appreciate there will be some impact if further strikes occur, which is regrettable, especially as we gear up for a busy season of summer activity, including T in the Park and The Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon.

“Travellers should check the ScotRail website for details of affected services and consider alternative measures to help ease the pressure on the rail network. Travel operators websites, Travel Line and Traffic Scotland will also have up to date information to help them plan their journeys. The network will also be actively monitored from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre throughout the weekend."

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The current rail strikes are obviously not ideal for some visitors and we hope that the dispute is resolved as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we would advise visitors thinking of going to some of this summer’s fantastic events by rail to check Scotrail’s website before planning their journey. Staff at our VisitScotland Information Centres are also on hand to advise visitors.”

Published 1 Jul 2016