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Last Updated: Monday, 31 January, 2005, 16:27 GMT
City commuters face travel strife
Subway strike
The subway action affects thousands of passengers
Commuters in Glasgow have faced delays and frustration after subway staff walked out and work began on sections of the Kingston Bridge.

About 40,000 passengers are being affected by Glasgow Underground staff's latest one-day pay strike.

The T&G union said its members were unhappy with the latest 5.9% pay deal. Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) said it would not increase its offer.

The 11m work on the Kingston road bridge is expected to last for a year.

The Stobcross on-ramp has been closed, along with the bridge's westbound nearside lane.

There is no access from the M8 westbound carriageway to the West Street off-ramp.

The other four westbound lanes will stay open during the day, as will one lane of the West Street off-ramp.

We are doing our best to minimise the disruption to travellers and settle this dispute as quickly as possible
Douglas Ferguson
SPT director

Strathclyde Police said the work did not appear to have caused significant problems.

On the subway, SPT said it would lay on two free bus services.

ScotRail will accept subway season ticket holders during the strike.

The dispute, which involves drivers, ticket collectors and safety workers, began on 20 January, after they rejected the two-year pay offer and objected to changes in holiday cycles.

Scott Foley, of the T&G, said its members deserve a modern agreement that reflected their worth and value.

Mr Foley said: "They have been pushed by the SPT management to a point where they feel they have no other option but to embark on a period of industrial action."

Stoppage plans

The union said workers would enforce a complete overtime ban from 30 January and hold a series of one-day stoppages.

SPT director Douglas Ferguson said it was willing to resume talks with the T&G, but stressed it would not increase its pay offer.

He said: "We are doing our best to minimise the disruption to travellers and settle this dispute as quickly as possible.

"Our door is always open and we are ready to sit down with the T&G whenever they want to but our options are limited.

"While there isn't any scope to improve the pay deal there are improved conditions of service on offer as part of our drive for increased productivity and flexibility but the longer the dispute drags on, the less money will be available to pay for these."


This is a selection of your email about the transport situation on Monday.

I just don't understand why SPT workers think they can get away with this. Oh wait - they do get away with it! Strikes are becoming more and more frequent on the underground, I think they should stop living in the 70s and come up to 21st Century working conditions. We get nothing like 5.9% at my workplace. Why isn't the Glasgow Underground owned by someone else ? I'm sure First Scotrail would do a better job.
Chris, Glasgow Southside

This is completely out of order, I am disgusted at the staff! I did not know about this, this morning and wasnt until I got to the underground I found out. It took me half an hour walking trying to flag a taxi down and i was still late for work. Doing it in the morning will create no public sympathy for these people, usually i would suprt this but I have lost all sympathy for them are they are just appearing greedy and selfish. It also begs the question how much money do these people need for pressing a button or for standing on a platform and shouting to close the doors?
James , Scotland

Other staff in the public sector have agreed the 5.9% increase over two years. The SPT also contributes 14.4% of the staff salaries to a very good pension scheme.
Douglas Blaney, Glasgow, Scotland

I didn't know about the closure of the Clydeside expressway to Kingston Bridge on-ramp until this morning - had to divert along Argyle Street to get to the southside of the city. Looks like I'll need to start using the Clyde Tunnel to get to work - my commute will now be around 45 minutes instead of the usual 20 minutes for the next 11 months. A bit more warning would have been appreciated!
Alan, Glasgow

Thank you strikers for giving me the incentive to walk to work this morning. I made it in good time and enjoyed the air and the exercise. I think I'll do this much ore often - and stop paying good money for a lousy transport service.
Alan, Glasgow

OK the subway workers want x y and z but isn't it about time the Sunday service should be brought up to scratch. It's ridiculous that in the 21st century you can't take the tube after 6pm on a Sunday. I remember when they kicked up a stink a few years back when the weeknights were extended from 10.30pm to the (more reasonable) 11.30pm, allowing those of us who also work unsocial hours to get home safely and easily. They should think about the people the subway service is provided for - passengers.
Laura Campbell, Glasgow

I support actions being taken by the subways workers to get themselves a better deal. Maybe next time a free day of no collecting fares but otherwise working would get them more public support. Whatever they choose, the subways is obviously very important to a lot of people, and I think the workers should get the money they earn, the bosses shouldn't get any of it.
Gwen, Glasgow

I am tired of strikes on the subway. I need it to get to my work.I think they have a cheek asking for more money. they should be glad that they have one. I would get rid of most of the staff, as I find them so unhelpful and should not be allowed to face the public. While management are getting rid of staff. it is high time the staions were upgraded. Kelvinhall for a start. Smelly & disgusting even at 7am
Linda, Renfrew, Scotland

The sooner they complete all the promised road building projects such as the A77 upgrade and especially the extension of the M74 to the M8 the better. This will take congestion away from the kingston bridge, journey times improved, pollution through the centre reduced and there will be less traffic jams on the bridge. As for the underground, most of Glasgow is not covered by this, just walk from the city centre to west end, it won't kill you.
David, Glasgow

Regular users of the subway who are complaining about not knowing about the strike should read the signs at every station that have been up for the last week telling us about it. I had to get the bus into university today, I didn't mind leaving a bit earlier than usual, what I learned from the experience though is that the city centre and Great Western Road really need to get more bus lanes as our bus was stuck in traffic for ages. Public transport in Glasgow really needs more investment.
Niall McDonald, Pollokshields

The strikes are more to do with protecting outdated conditions than more money (although this is also welcome obviously). How many people can honestly say they are getting 5.9% or anything like it as a pay rise? I would be over the moon if offered this!
William Ward, Glasgow

If I was the head of SPT, I would sack all of the striking workforce for breaking their contracts, ask them if they want to continue to work, re-employ them at their old rate of pay and that should sort them out. Or better still, ask the unemployed in Glasgow if they want a career in the underground and employ them.
Robert Simmonds, Old Kilpatrick

If the underground is so important to people's daily lives then the staff who run this service should be paid accordingly. Good pay and terms and conditions leads to high morale among staff which in turn results in a better service. We shouldn't be attacking the underground staff for our inability to travel today, we should be attacking the shortsighted management who are trying to further their own careers by cutting operational costs trough low wages.
Joe Crawford, Glasgow

The quicker SPT gets automatic trains the better, along with anti-suicide doors on the platforms the better. T&G are stuck in the 1970s. As for the Kingston bridge, isn't it a pity that Labour in 1997 cancelled all road building projects? How many more people died on the A77 because of Labour's actions?
John, Kilmarnock, Scotland

John from Kilmarnock says that the subway should be automated. In fact it largely is, the "drivers" are largely there for a safety role. I appreciate their presence when you look at a minority of passengers who smoke, are abusive or stoned. The drivers and the subway provide a important public service and should be funded accordingly. There is other public spending that should be cut to fund this, starting with the bureaocracy in City Chambers.
mark, Glasgow

Luckily I found out about the subway strike on the news this morning and was able to leave early to get the bus. Only just made it to work on time. However, the last time this happened it took me an hour to get from the city centre to the west end by bus. The bus driver was clearly not in a good mood and used his horn every two seconds and moved into intersections in order to block other drivers. Not looking forward to my journey home this evening. I appreciate that the subway staff would like better pay but I can still remember the time one of their stations was closed in order to allow staff to go to a wedding (or something along those lines). Perhaps a review of public opinion on the subway and its staff could be completed in order to show just how effective they are and this could be used to back up their claims for more money (or not).
Cathy , West End, Glasgow

I depend on using the underground almost every day. It needs substantial new public funds invested in it. It is cramped, dirty and dangerous. Slippery floors, escalators not working - disinterested staff. We appear to be able to spend billions on widening roads and making more car traffic jams. When is the public transport infrastucture going to given the priority it needs? Trams for Glasgow. Get those filthy, polluting and expensive buses off the roads! Who came up with that unfair/illegal practice where when you don't have the exact fare the bus company keeps the change? How is this over payment accounted for? There does not appear to be any record on my ticket of the overpayment so how is this accounted for? Who scrutinises this?
John Kelly, Glasgow

These people are holding the commuters of Scotland to ransom. I have taken time from work to visit my critically ill six-month-old niece and the subway to Yorkhill is not available.
Paul, Glasgow, Scotland.

I support the strikers and what they are doing. They have been pushed around by managers for far too long and drivers were recently forced to take lower wages coupled to harsher conditions following SPT's draconian attempts at union busting. I normally use the subway on Mondays to get from Maryhill to Govan, but I am glad to be getting there by alternative means today. Solidarity with the strikers.
Nick, Glasgow




SEE ALSO:
Bridge work set to cause delays
28 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Subway workers plan more strikes
21 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Subway workers hold pay dispute
20 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Warning of further subway strikes
09 Jul 04 |  Scotland


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