Train drivers in ScotRail are to be balloted for industrial action as part of a dispute over pay just over a month after the rail operator was taken into public ownership.

The union Aslef said it was “disappointed by the lack of action and any meaningful pay offer” from the newly nationalised transport operator.

As a result, union leaders insisted they had “no option” but to ballot their members for action.

It comes after ScotRail was formally taken into public ownership on April 1 this year, with Aslef Scottish organiser, Kevin Lindsay, saying there had been hope that the change of ownership may spark a “new era of positive industrial relations”.

But he said: “We are beyond disappointed by the lack of action and any meaningful pay offer from ScotRail.

“Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating our trains being taken back into public ownership, we hoped this would herald a new era of positive industrial relations, but it appears the same senior managers are determined to resort back to the failed strategies of the past.”

He continued: “We have been left with no option but to ballot our members. We are determined to ensure that our members, the key workers who kept the railways going throughout the pandemic are rewarded appropriately and that their pay reflects rising inflation and the cost of living pressures they face.

“We hope that ScotRail and the Scottish Government will change tack and get back round the negotiating table in a meaningful way.

“Aslef is committed to, and available for, talks at any time to help solve this impasse.”