SCOTRAIL train drivers have accepted a pay deal which will effectively end the pay dispute which has led to major cuts to ScotRail services for nearly two months.

The train drivers union Aslef says that their members have voted to accept the improved offer from nationalised ScotRail which amounts to up to 10% extra in pay packets in a year.

It is not yet clear how long an emergency timetable brought in in mid-May will remain in place in the wake of the train drivers' decision.

ScotRail has not been able to set a date for when the normal ScotRail timetable will be back in play and the temporary timetable was expected to in place for up to 10 days while service levels return to normal.

The managers of the nationalised service say they will now engage with Aslef "in the coming days on the work needed to resume the full timetable as soon as possible".

ScotRail said: "This is a complex process, and is also dependent on drivers returning to work rest days and overtime."

ScotRail said its teams are working hard to "introduce the full timetable as soon as possible".

Audiences at TRNSMT music festival in Glasgow on Sunday were told they would miss last trains home if they stayed to watch headliner Lewis Capaldi.

Visitors to the 150th Open Championship in St Andrews have also been urged to avoid rail travel this week.

Record crowds are expected at the home of golf, with practice rounds already underway in advance of the four-day tournament starting in earnest on Thursday.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, director of championships at The R&A, said there was "a risk that fans who travel by train may find there are no services to get them home".

Aslef officials who have been in pay talks had recommended acceptance of an initial 5% pay deal after negotiations with the nationalised rail operator's management over a month ago. A performance bonus scheme would take the wage rise to nearer 10%.

The union's executive commitee previously rejected a 4.2% pay offer in the midst of threatened strike action. Unlike with the latest offer, the negotiating team had not recommended either acceptance or rejection.

The train drivers accepted the latest offer through a referendum of members. 

Aslef say rest day working remains voluntary, as such so it remains up to individual drivers to decide if they want to work their days off. 

The train drivers union, however said that they believe that ScotRail should return to the full timetable "as soon as practicable". 

Aslef Scottish organiser Kevin Lindsay, said: “Following a ballot on the improved offer negotiated with ScotRail, Aslef members have voted to accept the proposals on pay and conditions "We are a democratic trade union and the membership has decided to accept the offer made by ScotRail So hopefully this will give ScotRail the opportunity to get the service back up and running and we'll see a full service to deliver for the people of Scotland."

HeraldScotland: New Scotrail timetable

The dispute has seen ScotRail introduce an emergency timetable which cut services by up to half for nearly two months as drivers refused to work on their rest days. The ScotRail timetable relies on drivers working Sundays and rest days to keep trains running - a move the nationalised rail operator is hoping to change.

Aslef initially rejected a 2.2% pay offer, before later being offered 4.2% and improved conditions.

Transport Scotland - the government's transport agency - described that offer as "both fair and affordable" but it was again rejected by the union.

The accepted 5% pay increase is broken down as a Transport Scotland-funded 2.2 per cent increase to recognise the cost-of-living challenges and a further ScotRail funded 2.8 per cent increase which  "recognises and rewards the flexibility of rostering arrangements as ScotRail responds to changes in our markets as we emerge from the pandemic".  The ScotRail-funded part was previously 2%.

An excess revenue share premium, which rewards all colleagues where ScotRail exceeds revenue budget targets will also be backdated to April 1, 2022.

ScotRail said that meant staff would already have earned two periods of bonus amounting to £390 net as the operator said it had  exceeded targets for those periods.  

 It said that if this paid out in full, it would be worth a one-off additional £2,535 over a year. Any further bonus scheme would have to be negotiated in future annual pay discussions.

The deal agreed also involves a commitment to a no-compulsory redundancy agreement which has risen from three years after previous negotiations,  to five years.

The new deal also provides an uplift of £500 per year to the  driver instructor allowance.

A commitment to bring Sundays into the working week within a five-year period with full implementation by the 2027 December timetable, remains in the pay agreement.

ScotRail, which was nationalised on April 1, said the emergency timetable, which has meant 700 daily service cuts, has come as a result of the drivers' pay dispute which has meant some refusing to take up the option of working rest days and Sundays.

David Simpson, ScotRail Service Delivery Director, said: “I am delighted that Aslef members have voted for this pay deal. All parties involved have worked hard to find an agreement that recognises the hard work of staff and the financial challenges faced by the railway as we look to recover from the pandemic.

“ScotRail, our staff, and our customers want to have a reliable, efficient, and sustainable railway that supports the economy and connects communities across the country. This deal is a significant step towards delivering that.”