Following the decision by ScotRail to temporarily cut around 700 services, the leaders of groups representing several Scottish business sectors have released a statement calling for an immediate resolution to the ongoing pay dispute between ScotRail and unions.
The statement reads as follows:
“With the economic recovery fragile and buffeted with numerous headwinds, we, the undersigned, call for an immediate resolution to the ongoing ScotRail dispute.
“The revised timetable will cut 700 daily services with the last train on many routes departing before 8pm. This situation has the potential to be utterly devastating, particularly for our cultural, hospitality, sport, leisure and night-time entertainment industries, with analysis published over the weekend indicating the cost to the Scottish economy could be around £220 million if the dispute lasts for four weeks.
“Many of these businesses and city centre hubs, the lifeblood of our economy, are just beginning to emerge from the long and destabilising impact of the covid pandemic and this latest disruption will undoubtedly take a heavy toll.
“The collective focus must be on accelerating economic recovery and, with many major sports events, festivals, and the high tourist season nearly upon us, this impasse threatens Scotland’s ability to attract visitors at a time when they are most needed.
“Furthermore, we are in the teeth of a cost-of-living crisis and many passengers across the country must have access to a reliable train service that doesn’t require them to spend more disposable income on sourcing alternative routes of travel, just so they can commute to and from work.
“Taking a longer-term view, the demands of the climate crisis require us to be doing everything possible to encourage more passengers to use public transport, and to see it as a viable alternative to car travel. This type of disruption and reduction in services has the opposite effect.
“In short, we urge the relevant Unions, ScotRail and Scottish Government to get around the table and find an agreed resolution that swiftly restores the availability, consistency and accessibility of rail services for Scotland’s businesses, employees, customers and communities.”
SCC Chief Executive, Dr Liz Cameron, CBE, has also written of the ongoing impact to businesses and communities across the country due to the timetable cuts in today’s Scottish Daily Mail, a link to which can be found here.