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Daily Record
Daily Record
Stuart Gillespie

Dumfries and Galloway rail passengers set for more strike disruption

Rail passengers can expect more disruption over the next couple of days.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) at Network Rail will be on strike today and tomorrow, having also taken industrial action on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

That will mean no ScotRail services in Dumfries and Galloway, with rail operators running services from Lockerbie also affected.

RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “The Government and the companies have not put any fresh proposals to us.

“They know what needs to be done to move towards a settlement, how to work through the problems and get to some documentation that we can all support, but that’s not happened so far.

“We’re hoping in the next few days that they will come to us and propose more meetings and more sessions of negotiation, but at the moment that’s simply not there.

“The Government has let these strikes go ahead and that’s unfortunate.”

However, Transport Secretary Mark Harper claimed: “There is a very fair pay offer on the table which has been accepted by two of the trade unions on Network Rail.

“The RMT recommended that their members didn’t accept it, but actually a third of their members still voted in favour of it.

“I think it is time that the RMT got off the picket line and round the negotiating table to try and hammer out a deal with the train operating companies and Network Rail.”

The dispute over pay and conditions involves RMT members at Network Rail and a number of rail operators, including TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast.

ScotRail is not involved but is affected by the strike action as Network Rail staff are responsible for infrastructure, meaning there will be no services in Dumfries and Galloway today and tomorrow.

And there is expected to be a limited service on Sunday as the network gets back up and running.

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said: “We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to on the days of strike action.

“Customers should check their entire journey in advance to make sure their train is running.”

Services between Carlisle and Scotland – which run through Lockerbie – have already been hit by a landslip south of Carstairs blocking the route.

It is expected to be back up and running today.

But both TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast are urging passengers only to travel on strike days if their journey is essential.

Both firms were hit by RMT strike action earlier this week, while a walkout by the Aslef union saw them run no services on Thursday.

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