Rail bosses and unions must “hammer out” a deal as strikes take a toll on businesses in the north of Scotland, a business group has said.
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) has warned ongoing rail strikes will deter users including commuters, business travellers and visitors from “bothering with the train” just as greener forms of transport are required to reduce carbon emissions.
Instead the latest round of strikes by Network Rail members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) yesterday and today (4 Jan) as well as January 6 to 7 are having a” major impact” on the operator’s ability to run services across the country — with a skeleton service operating on just 12 routes across the Central Belt and Fife.
Mr Mutch said: “There’s no doubt that the cumulative impact of ongoing industrial action on our railways over the past year is taking its toll on businesses.
Rail strikes will ‘once again leave our region completely isolated’
“It’s an incredibly frustrating way to start 2023 — a year that could hold so much promise for Scotland’s recovery and getting our economy firing on all cylinders once again.
“Aberdeen City and Shire make up a heavily interdependent region, which equally relies upon regular and reliable links to the central belt and beyond.
“These latest strikes will once again leave our region completely isolated and have real potential to deter commuters, business travellers and visitors from bothering with the train at a time where we need to be encouraging more people back onto our railways to ensure they remain viable after a turbulent few years.
“For both parties in this latest dispute, there should be a concerted New Year’s resolution — get back round the table, show willingness to compromise and hammer out an agreement which will draw an end to misery on our railways early in 2023.”