Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has welcomed the news that the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) has accepted a proposal on Driver Controlled Operation (DCO) from ScotRail, marking an end to the current dispute over the method of dispatch for the new fleet of Class 385 electric trains.
He says this could help other parts of the UK to come to a resolution.
Yousaf said: “I welcome this agreement between Scotrail and the RMT Executive Committee, subject to approval by members. I am pleased that we are finally starting to see what looks like an end to the industrial action that has affected our railways this summer and I would like to thank passengers for their forbearance.
“Going forward I know ScotRail will concentrate on providing passengers with services which are safe and reliable whilst introducing more passenger benefits such as extra trains, extra seats and better on board facilities. I hope this agreement reached in Scotland can provide a positive platform for negotiations elsewhere in the UK.
“Throughout this dispute I have been consistent in my calls that talks continue, I engaged with both sides and made clear my view that the solution to this issue lay through negotiation rather than strikes. In addition, I convened regular meetings of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee before all strike days to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum.
“Safety on our railways is and always has been the paramount concern and Scotland’s railways are among the safest in the world. At the beginning of this discussion we asked for and received assurances from the independent regulator that DCO is a safe method of operating our trains; this remains the case for all other DCO services across the network.
“Rail passengers in Scotland can now also look forward to the introduction of a new generation of longer, faster, greener electric trains for Scotland, and the extra capacity this will generate across the network, which will deliver a step change in rail travel and support the Scottish Government’s wider £5 billion investment in our railways to 2019.”