Willie Rennie, the former Liberal Democrat leader, told SNP Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth that 300,000 people were traveling to St Andrews for the Open golf tournament and that far more trains were needed than normal, rather than less, for a “one-time event”. showcase”.
“It’s a total failure in industrial relations by this government,” Mr Rennie said. “Does the Minister understand the humiliation that will be inflicted on Scotland if she does not get this settlement by then?
“And if she doesn’t sort it out by then, what plans does she have to make sure Fife’s roads aren’t jammed with 300,000 people descending on the town?”
At Holyrood on Tuesday, Ms Gilruth was repeatedly challenged on the restricted schedule.
Her relationship with unions, which are demanding a pay rise of more than 10%, appeared on the verge of breaking down after she publicly slammed officials for calling her a liar.
Ms Gilruth said the comments from Scottish RMT organizer Mick Hogg were not ‘particularly respectful’ or ‘accurate’. Mr Hogg had accused Ms Gilruth of ‘lying’ when she said she wanted to see the unions and ScotRail negotiate.
He claimed the minister ‘held the key’ to a pay deal and had been dishonest in suggesting she could not have taken a more active role in the negotiations.
Meanwhile, she seemed unable to tell an NHS nurse, who worked shifts, didn’t drive or had an alternative bus service, how she should get home from work.
Neil Bibby, the Labor MSP, said the rail crisis was ‘causing misery’ and his constituent finished hospital duty at 7.45pm. However, according to the new schedule, her last return train left at 8:04 p.m. and she would not be able to get to the station in time.
Ms Gilruth said she would raise the matter with ScotRail and wanted to see a resolution to the dispute as soon as possible.
She also said contingency plans were being drawn up in a bid to avoid disruption at Scotland’s World Cup play-offs at Hampden Park next week.
Tens of thousands of football fans will descend on Glasgow Stadium on Wednesday as the national team play one of their most important matches in 20 years against Ukraine.
“ScotRail is aware of the various major cultural and sporting events in the summer and the impact the reduced timetable could have on them,” she said.