Rail workers are set to strike across Scotland on Saturday with passengers warned to expect disruption to their journeys.
More than 40,000 RMT members from Network Rail along with 15 train operating companies across the UK are expected to take to the picket lines on Saturday and again on October 8 in a dispute over pay and working conditions.
Scotrail has warned customers to expect significant disruption as a result of the 24-hour strike action.
Very limited services will operate across Scotland’s railways as a result.
The dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, however Network Rail workers who occupy “safety-crital roles” will have a major impact on the ability to operate services.
ScotRail has confirmed that a similar limited timetable will run to that which was put in place during the strike action on August 18 and 20.
Only 11 routes will have running services across the Central Belt, Fife, and the Borders between 7.30am and 6.30pm
There will be the addition of one train per hour between Edinburgh Waverley and Larbert, and Fife services will be extended from Inverkeithing to Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath.
The Edinburgh to North Berwick services will not run due to planned engineering works on the route.
The routes and frequency of service which will be in operation are:
- 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 – 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
The final services will depart before 6.30pm and customers have been warned to plan ahead and only travel if they really need to.
More information will be updated on the ScotRail website.
The rail provider has warned that the strikes will have a knock-on effect to services on the following days of October 2 and 9 due to the reopening of signal boxes.
The RMT union have also announced strike action on October 10 as part of an ongoing pay dispute with Scotrail.
The rail provider says contingency plans for this date are yet to be announced.
David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “It’s really disappointing to see more widespread disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network at a time when we need to be encouraging more people back to the railway.
“For ScotRail, it’s going to mean that we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services, which we know will be really frustrating for our customers.
“ScotRail customers should expect significant disruption to services on Saturday, October 1 and Saturday, October 8, as well as on the following days.
“We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to on the day of strike action. Customers should check your journey in advance to make sure your train is running if you’re travelling on the day following strike action, Sunday, October 2, and Sunday, October 9.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Transport workers are joining a wave of strike action on October 1, sending a clear message to the government and employers that working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high.
“The Summer of Solidarity we have seen will continue into the Autumn and Winter if employers and the government continue to refuse workers reasonable demands.
“We want a settlement to these disputes where our members and their families can get a square deal. And we will not rest until we get a satisfactory outcome.”
Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP met with the RMT union in a move the union have welcomed as a “more positive approach” to resolving the dispute.
Mr Lynch said: “We welcome this more positive approach from the government to engage with us as a first step to finding a suitable settlement.
“However, as no new offer has been tabled, our members have no choice but to continue this strike action
“We will continue to negotiate in good faith, but the employers and government need to understand our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes.”