Transport minister urged to broker deal in driver-only trains row

Picture: John Devlin

Picture: John Devlin

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LABOUR has urged the Transport Minister to intervene and broker a deal between unions and ScotRail to head off planned industrial action.

Rail union RMT is planning two days of strike action in an ongoing dispute with ScotRail over driver-only trains.

The RMT said it had “no option” but to stage further 24-hour strikes on Sunday July 24 and 31 amid the failure of talks through the conciliation service Acas.

READ MORE: Rail union highlights ‘dangers’ of driver-only trains

Labour’s transport spokesman Neil Bibby urged Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to meet with the parties to end the stalemate.

He said: “Rail passengers have already faced significant disruption this summer due to infrastructure work on the Queen Street tunnel and Glasgow Subway causing delays and cancellations.

“The new UK Transport Secretary said resolving the dispute on Southern Railways was his ‘top priority’. The SNP Government should start to take seriously the real concerns of ScotRail staff and get a grip of this situation.

“The First Minister was wrong to dismiss legitimate questions on behalf of ScotRail staff in June and after a dozen days of industrial action this issue clearly isn’t going away.

“The SNP Government and Transport Minister should publicly intervene and meet with the parties in dispute in order to reach an end to this industrial stalemate, to the satisfaction of all parties and rail passengers in particular.”

READ MORE: ScotRail drivers warn of conflict as train doors row ramps up

RMT opposes any extension of driver-only trains and wants guards to be in control of operating doors.

It says safety was at the core of the dispute, which has already resulted in several days of industrial action.

ScotRail says 59% of customers already travel on a train where the doors are safely opened and closed by the driver, and insists that the job, pay and conditions of conductors is guaranteed.

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