SCOTRAIL is urging passengers to be aware of Christmas strikes while advising people to plan their journeys ahead of time. 

Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) employed by Network Rail will walk out from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27 in a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

David Simpson, ScotRail’s service delivery director, said the strike would mean “significant disruption” with last trains earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, no Boxing Day services, and later first trains on December 27.

READ MORE: Scottish Government must act to give shopworkers New Year's Day off, union says

“It’s really disappointing to see more disruption across the whole Great Britain rail network as a result of the dispute between Network Rail and the RMT at a time when we need to be encouraging more people back to the railway,” he said.

“We know this is really frustrating for everyone impacted and we’re urging customers to plan ahead and check their entire journey in advance.”

The early shutdown on Christmas Eve will not only just impact on last minute shoppers and those wanting a festive getaway, but could scupper the transport plans of football fans.

With services winding down from 3pm, supporters watching games including Dundee United against Hearts, and Hibernian vs Livingston, have been urged to make sure they have planned their journey home in advance.

Services are due to follow the normal timetable between December 28 and 30 but, on Hogmanay, services will stop earlier than usual.

And more rail misery is to follow in 2023. The RMT has also announced strike plans for January 3 and 4, as well as January 6 and 7.

Those strike dates were announced after talks between RMT leader Mick Lynch and rail minister Hew Merriman failed last week, with negotiations between the two sides remaining deadlocked.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “The dispute is not going to be solved through strike action, only through negotiation.

“TSSA and Unite members have both voted to resoundingly accept the very same deal that the RMT continue to reject.

“Our offer, which is worth over 9% over two years, with a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies and no changes to anyone’s terms and conditions, remains on the table.”