Public urged to plan travel ahead of strike

Commuters walking past a First ScotRail train at Waverley train station in Edinburgh.

Commuters walking past a First ScotRail train at Waverley train station in Edinburgh.

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Contingency plans for tomorrow’s (Tuesday) rail strike have been discussed at a second meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee, chaired by Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf.

The industrial action on Tuesday, June 21, is the first in a series of planned strikes by members of the Rail and Maritime and Transport workers union.

It is estimated ScotRail will still be able to run around 70 per cent of services, but inevitably there will be an impact on passengers. ScotRail have published alternative timetables to help the public plan their journeys. Information is available at www.scotrail.co.uk/strike

A Multi-Agency Response Team (MART), involving representation from Network Rail, ScotRail, Traffic Scotland, Police Scotland, and Operating Companies will also be operational to monitor the situation on Tuesday, to help ensure the public has the latest information and agencies are equipped to respond to any major incidents.

Mr Yousaf said: “It’s very disappointing to see industrial action set to go ahead on our railways and we continue to urge further dialogue between ScotRail and the RMT Union.

“The walkout will have a significant impact on rail passengers who depend on these services, so I urge both parties to get back round the table immediately and work towards an agreement so that strikes can be avoided.

“If scheduled strikes go ahead, passengers should prepare for significant disruption on the railways on Tuesday. ScotRail have published information on how services will be affected, but we would also ask commuters to think now about the changes that they could make to help ease the pressure on the rail network. This could include working from home, car-sharing, avoiding travel at peak periods, or using buses to get to work.

“The Scottish Government’s Resilience operation is actively monitoring developments and receiving regular updates from the ScotRail Alliance, Transport Scotland and other key stakeholders.

“We are fully expecting roads to be busier as a result of the rail strike and we are working with partners to do all we can to manage the likely increase in traffic. We will be monitoring the network from the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre and will be providing updates through the Traffic Scotland Twitter feed and website as well as internet radio. The Trunk Road Incident Support Service (TRISS) will be out from early morning patrolling the key parts of the network dealing with incidents as quickly as possible.

“Travel operators websites, Travel Line and Traffic Scotland will have all of the latest information and people should plan ahead and leave more time for their journey. Those travelling to the islands by ferry should also consider alternative options in relation to rail connections.

“The Scottish Government’s priority will always be to ensure the safety and efficient running of our railways.”