THE Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has warned of a “perfect storm” for hospitality businesses this summer, after the RMT rail union confirmed a UK-wide signal workers strike next week that will see around 90% of Scottish train services cancelled.
The strike is due to take place on Tuesday 21st, Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th June.
Train services on those days will be limited to a few routes in the central belt.
SLTA managing director, Colin Wilkinson, said the strike action, together with issues such as staffing and rising energy costs, will create a “perfect storm” for hospitality businesses.
“To put it bluntly, the hospitality sector just can’t take any more,” said Wilkinson. “Businesses are slowly recovering after the pandemic and just when most are feeling optimistic for the first time and looking forward to a good summer, along comes a national rail strike which will deter people from travelling into our towns and cities.
“If there are no trains or if the last train home is 6.30pm, people won’t bother going out at all and who can blame them – nobody wants to be worrying about how they will get home after meeting friends in the pub, enjoying dinner, attending an event or going to a nightclub.
“There’s also the safety aspect to consider as every business and venue wants to ensure that their staff and customers can get home safely late at night – many rely on trains to get home.”
Wilkinson called on Scottish and UK government ministers to intervene in the situation in order to prevent the strikes.