09/10/2008

Scottish Rail Strike Suspended

Scottish rail services are expected to return to normal after talks between Network Rail and the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union lead to a suspension of the 24-hour strike scheduled for noon.

Talks held at the conciliation body Acas offices in Glasgow discussing disagreements over rota changes and compulsory safety assessments lasted nine hours.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "This dispute is all about our ability to continue to provide a safe railway.

"We are pleased that strike action has been suspended and will continue to seek a negotiated resolution to this dispute.

"We will now work to restore train services to the travelling public as quickly as we can for tomorrow."

The RMT are to consider a full report before making a statement later in the week. They have insisted employers failed to move on its demand to stop last-minute changes to rotas. However Network Rail said it had made concessions but safety assessments remained the sticking point.

A 24-hour strike by 450 signal workers on Tuesday severely disrupted Scottish rail services.

Mary Grant, managing director of First ScotRail, said: "I thank our customers for their patience and understanding over a dispute which was out with our control.

"It is hoped issues have been resolved so that they are not let down in this way again."

Minor disruption on Thursdays rail services may occur. First ScotRail customers can check timetables on the company's website.

(GK/JM)

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