COP26: Travel disruption still expected despite ScotRail pay deal

Travel disruption is still expected across Glasgow during COP26 despite rail strikes being averted, according to the leader of the council.

The Clydeside Expressway has been closed to traffic during COP26.

On Wednesday it was announced that industrial action during the event had been called off after trade union leaders confirmed a pay settlement had been reached. Despite this, Glasgow’s cleansing department is still expected to be on strike next month.

During Thursday’s full council meeting Conservative councillor Kyle Thornton asked what steps the council was taking to ensure Glasgow keeps moving during the conference.

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Council leader Susan Aitken said: “Members will be aware that an agreement to avert the rail strike has been reached by the union which is clearly a huge relief to us all.

“I would personally like to pay tribute to everyone who was involved in working to reach a resolution on that.

“There will obviously still be travel disruption during COP26 as you would expect for an event of this size and indeed we have had during previous large events in the city.”

Ms Aitken highlighted that more information is available on the Get Ready Glasgow where heat maps can be accessed every single day of COP which show where the biggest impact is expected to be.

She urged drivers to plan their journey ahead of time.

Councillor Thornton responded: “I was aware of the agreement reached but I thought it was important to ask anyway.

“Can I ask what the leader and the council are doing to engage with the GMB over their strike action which will likely have a significant impact on the city during the COP26 conference.”

Councillor Aitken confirmed that they had been in regular discussions with both COSLA and the Scottish Government.

She added: “The dispute is about national pay negotiations and it is not in the gift of Glasgow City Council to resolve the dispute, it is COSLA that negotiates with the trade unions.

“Conversations are at a crucial point and I remain hopeful that there will be a resolution but I don’t want to say anything that will jeopardise that.”