Political Correspondent

TRAIN staff are threatening to refuse to work on some trains unless action is taken to stamp out violence.

Attacks on trains west of Glasgow is rising, according to staff who have called on the Transport minister to take action.

Unions said there has been a rise in rise in violence and anti-social behaviour on trains west of Queen Street Station on the low level services to Balloch and Helensburgh.

Staff are now threatening to refuse to work on certain services west of Dumbarton where the problem is believed to be most serious unless action to make trains and stations safer is taken.

The rail union, Aslef, has urged Humza Yousaf, the Transport Minister, to act by increasing staffing and police patrols at key locations.

Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, said: “There has been a continuous rise in violence and anti-social behaviour against rail staff on trains and at stations on services from Glasgow Queen Street to Helensburgh and Balloch.

“As a union, we believe it is imperative that the Transport Minister takes urgent action to ensure that passengers and rail staff are safe.”

Mr Lindsay said staff want at least two staff members on every train, more British Transport Police on trains and at Helensburgh and Balloch stations.

They are also calling for restraining orders placed on offenders to protect staff and for staff who refuse to work to be supported

Mr Lindsay added: “Our members are at the end of their tether. “There are real concerns that a member of the public, or a rail worker, is going to get seriously injured or worse.

“Our members are sick and fed up and getting ready to refuse to work on these services. So an urgent response is now needed before a community loses its rail servcies.”

Jackie Baillie, Labour MSP for Dumbarton, is hosting a public meeting on the issue next week and Mr Yousaf has been invited to attend.

Transport Scotland said it was investing in measures like purchasing 200 bodycams to protect staff and deter violence

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “Anti-social behaviour at rail stations and violence or the threat of violence against those using and working on public transport is wholly unacceptable.

“Every worker and passenger has the absolute right to go about their business without the fear of verbal or physical assault.

“We work closely with the police, Scotland’s transport providers and the trade unions to raise awareness of this issue, and I have already committed my support in terms of the ‘Violence against Transport Workers’ campaign.”