UK-wide rail strikes kick off today leaving travellers facing disruption

UK-wide rail halt kicks off tomorrow leaving travellers bracing for disruption
UK-wide rail halt kicks off tomorrow leaving travellers bracing for disruption

Travellers are bracing for major disruption as a UK-wide rail halt kicks off today.

The Network Rail strikes affecting Scotland will see a very limited number of services operating only in the Central Belt across June 21, 23 and 25.

This means only five routes will operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm, with customers being urged to "only travel if necessary".

ScotRail said it would only be able to run two trains per hour on the Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High line, on the Edinburgh-Bathgate route, the Glasgow to Hamilton/Larkhall service and on the Glasgow to Lanark line.

In addition, there will be one train an hour running on the Edinburgh to Glasgow service that goes via Shotts.

The move could create a “perfect storm” for Glasgow’s hospitality this summer, according to the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.

It comes as businesses desperately try to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and “can’t take any more” as they now face more disruption.

Thousands of music fans could also face being left stranded in Glasgow over the “significant disruption to services”.

Barry Manilow and Phoebe Bridgers ticketholders will be left without a train home as their concerts take part during the strikes.

This dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, however, it does have a major knock-on effect on the train operator’s ability to provide services as the planned action involves Network Rail staff in Scotland who are members of RMT.

Many of the Network Rail staff that are due to take part in the planned industrial action occupy safety-critical roles and, as such, it will not be possible for ScotRail to run the vast majority of services.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “It is very unfortunate to see such widespread disruption across the whole of the Great Britain rail network and we know this will be frustrating for ScotRail customers.

“Regrettably, this strike action by RMT members of Network Rail means that we will not be able to operate the vast majority of our services during the period of strike action.

“We’re reminding customers to expect significant disruption to services this week, including on the days between, and following, strike action which will impact customers travelling to events across the country.

“On the five routes where we are able to operate a very limited service on strike days, we’re urging customers to only travel if they really need to, and to seek alternative means of transport where possible.”