TALKS to try and avoid further strike action by rail workers caused by a dispute about staffing levels on the Bathgate to Airdrie rail link were due to talk place yesterday (Wednesday).
About 550 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) across Scotland walked out on Saturday in the first of three 24-hour strikes.
The workers are unhappy at plans to run trains without conductors on the new service.
Union officials claim this would jeopardise passenger safety, an allegation operators First Scotrail have denied.
Further strike action is planned for March 1 and March 13 which will coincide with Six Nations rugby matches in Edinburgh, including the Calcutta Cup game between Scotland and England.
The £300million rail link is due to open in December.
Under First Scotrail’s proposals, each train would run with a driver and a ticket examiner but without conductors.
The drivers would be responsible for opening and closing the train doors.
The company claim that if Airdrie-Bathgate trains were to be operated by conductors, over £1.4 million would have to be spent converting them for conductor operation and the work would lead to a delay in opening the new route.
The RMT has vowed to fight such a move, which it said could put passengers at risk.
However, the train operators said the trains were “no different” to those that have run in the Strathclyde region for 25 years.
Talks between union representatives and managers were due to take place at Scotrail’s headquarters in Glasgow yesterday.