The union for transport workers has branded the disruption experienced by travellers from Edinburgh Waverley over the weekend as “symptomatic” of Abellio’s management of ScotRail – with one worker saying it was the worst disruption for 25 years.
The ScotRail Alliance is carrying out an investigation into the disruption as Transport Scotland branded the problems “unacceptable”.
Hundreds of travellers trying to leave the Capital were caught up in the disruption on Saturday night, reportedly caused by a lack of drivers on one of Edinburgh’s busiest weekends.
Passengers were told to make alternative arrangements as trains were cancelled or too full to accept more people at their calling points.
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ScotRail apologised for the disruption and said they would be conducting an internal review into Saturday’s shambles.
One ScotRail worker at Waverley said: “Saturday night was extremely bad – it was the worst I have seen in 25 years. Staff were abused and threatened by passengers. A number were assaulted. It was unbelievable.
“Conditions on some of the trains were horrendous. Police had to stop people going through the barriers because the platforms were so full.”
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) is in dispute with ScotRail, including not covering driver shifts.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Yesterday’s chaos at Waverley is symptomatic of Abellio’s long-term mismanagement of ScotRail. Their policy of running staff down to the bare minimum and expecting to be able to cover with overtime and now by forcing our DTMs (driver team manager) members to cover driver shifts leaves them vulnerable to industrial action like ours and sudden spikes in demand.
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“No one coming home from Scotland’s Capital should expect to experience platform overcrowding or to be squashed into trains like cattle at 11.30pm, Festival or no Festival.”
He added: “Transport Secretary Michael Matheson must call an inquiry into yesterday’s events to ensure we see no repeat performance.”
A ScotRail spokesman said: “We’re sorry to our customers who experienced disruption and busy services yesterday. We do all that we can to meet demand.
“Every available train we have was out on the network to get our customers where they needed to be.
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“Customers delayed by 30 minutes or more are encouraged to claim for money back via our delay repay guarantee on our website or mobile app.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Ministers are taking this matter very seriously and are quite clear that last night’s incidents are unacceptable. The ScotRail Alliance is already carrying out an immediate investigation into what