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ScotRail services return to normal on Tuesday, but commuters face Monday misery

Commuters face a Monday of misery as rail disruption is set to drag into next week despite a union calling off its planned strike.

RMT members had been due to stage 24-hour walkouts on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday in their bitter dispute with Network Rail, but leaders cancelled the strikes on Friday.

ScotRail said there would still be a reduced service on Saturday due to the action being called off at the 11th hour, and the newly nationalised operator has now confirmed it would go ahead with a skeleton service on Monday.

People walking on platform past ScotRail train
Commuters will face Monday morning misery despite a strike being called off by the RMT union (Jane Barlow/PA)

Liam Sumpter, route director at Network Rail Scotland, said: “While it is positive news that the RMT has called off these strikes, the very late notice means that it is not possible to reintroduce a full timetable on Saturday and Monday.

“We are working hard alongside ScotRail and our other operators to reintroduce services as quickly as possible for customers.”

ScotRail has so far pencilled in 15 routes set to be running, which includes trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as services between Carlisle and Dumfries, Ayr and Stranraer, Inverness and Wick, and between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.

But the operator has urged passengers to check ahead of time, with it working to add more services before the start of the week.

David Simpson, ScotRail’s service delivery director, said he welcomed the announcement the RMT had called off their strike.

“Strike action does nothing for the railway’s recovery or reputation at this fragile time. It impacts customers, staff, and the economy,” he said.

The disruption caused by potential strike action by the RMT is part of the union’s battle with National Rail for better pay and conditions for its workers, and involved signalling workers as well as staff at 14 train companies across the UK.

Mick Lynch, the union’s general secretary, said: “The threat of strike action and our strongly supported industrial campaign has made the rail employers see sense.

“We have always wanted to secure a negotiated settlement and that is what we will continue to push for in this next phase of intensive talks.

“Our priority is our members, and we are working towards securing a deal on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions.”

It is continuing its re-ballot of members to secure a fresh mandate for action with the result due on November 15.

But there could be yet more rail chaos in Scotland, with the union threatening to walk out every Friday and Saturday in the run-up to Christmas as part of a separate dispute with ScotRail.