Rail strikes and pay disputes could cause lasting damage to this green way to travel – Scotsman comment

Rail strikes and pay disputes are largely a consequence of the cost-of-living crisis.

Passengers have been unable to book tickets for Avanti West Coast train services more than a few days in advance (Picture: Luciana Guerra/PA Wire)
Passengers have been unable to book tickets for Avanti West Coast train services more than a few days in advance (Picture: Luciana Guerra/PA Wire)

As inflation soars, workers understandably want pay rises that reflect their new financial circumstances, while train operators dealing with major increases in energy costs are, equally understandably, reluctant to add big increases to their wage bills.

However, while both sides argue over the deals that they know will eventually be reached, the resulting disruption has an effect on people’s everyday lives.

Independent passenger body Transport Focus has now warned that problems for passengers of one of the biggest cross-Border rail operators, Avanti, could prove to be lasting.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

The firm, which runs services from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Birmingham and London, has significantly cut its services after some staff stopped volunteering for overtime amid a pay dispute.

Read More

Read More
ScotRail strike threatened after RMT members vote to strike over pay

And Robert Samson, of Transport Focus, warned that passengers were having to deal with difficulties in booking tickets more than a few days in advance as well as “cancellations, overcrowding and poor information online”.

“This disruption is having a huge impact, potentially putting large numbers of people off using the train for good,” he added.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Once trains were viewed as outdated relics of the steam age. But, following the recognition that this highly efficient form of transport is vital in the drive towards net-zero carbon emissions and the fight against climate change, they are now very much recognised as an important part of our future.

But that will only be the case if the travelling public has confidence in the services they provide. Both sides of rail pay disputes would do well to keep this in mind.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.