Some 700 services were slashed from timetables on May 23, when Aslef members started their action.
11 July 2022
After seven weeks of rail misery, passengers in Scotland are set to discover if services cut by the newly nationalised train operator amid a pay dispute will be restored.
On Monday the Aslef drivers’ union will announce if its members at ScotRail, who in May began to refuse to work overtime and rest days, will accept a pay rise deal, a move which will pave the way for hundreds of services to be restored.
Some 700 services were slashed from timetables on May 23, when Aslef members started their action, a move Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said would provide greater certainty.
Since then rail users have found much-needed services missing and attendees to events across Scotland have been warned by the taxpayer-owned firm they might be left stranded because last trains would leave before their events have finished.
Fans going to Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Hampden Park in June were told they had to leave the national team’s most important match in 20 years early if they wanted to catch the last service from Mount Florida, its nearest station.
Thousands of golf fans were also urged to avoid the railways by organisers of The Open in St Andrews.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director of championships at The R&A, said there was “a risk that fans who travel by train may find there are no services to get them home”.
And festivalgoers wanting to watch Lewis Capaldi headline Trnsmt on Sunday were told by the firm if they waited until the end of his set they would not be able to catch the train home.
If members do back the plan in the ballot, which has been recommended by union bosses, their pay will climb by 5%.
They will also get more money for rest day and Sunday working, driving instructor and maternity pay along with a policy of no compulsory redundancies for the next five years.
According to ScotRail, 2.2% of the increase will be funded by Transport Scotland with the remaining 2.8% coming from ScotRail’s coffers.
If drivers accept the rise, the state-owned firm has warned passengers its temporary timetable could be in place for up to 10 days.
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