SCOTS train services are set to be hit by a new one-day strike involving train drivers - as the nation was hit by a UK-wide strike yesterday that meant less that one in ten of normal ScotRail services were operating.

Train drivers at nine rail companies are to stage a one-day strike next month in the worsening dispute which is causing travel chaos across the country.

Aslef announced its members will walk out on Saturday August 13, saying the firms failed to make a pay offer to help members keep pace with increases in the cost of living.

Drivers are already set to strike this Saturday at seven companies and yesterday Aslef members at two more train operators voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

It is expected to hit cross-border services.

Aslef members with cross-border train operators LNER, CrossCounty and Avanti West Coast will be taking part in the industrial action.

Drivers are already set to strike this Saturday as seven companies including LNER voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Yesterday Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry joined the dispute with 92.6% and 93.2% voting for strike action respectively.

The announcement was made as strikes by some 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union within the rail infrastructure owners Network Rail and 14 train operating companies crippled services on Wednesday.

It comes after talks over pay, jobs and terms and conditions failed following the biggest rail strikes in 30 years over three days in June.

HeraldScotland:

Just five ScotRail routes in the central belt were operating between 7.30am and 6.30pm, Scotland’s nationalised train operator has said, while workers picketed stations.

There is expected to be further disruption as Network Rail Scotland signallers and maintenance staff, who are in safety-critical roles, will also take industrial action on August 18 and 20.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at Avanti West Coast also walked out on Wednesday.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “Strikes are always the last resort.

“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Government.

“Many of our members, who were the men and women who moved key workers and goods around the country during the pandemic, have not had a pay rise since 2019.

“With inflation running at north of 10% that means those drivers have had a real-terms pay cut over the last three years.“We want an increase in line with the cost of living – we want to be able to buy, in 2022, what we could buy in 2021."

HeraldScotland: SNP transport minister Jenny Gilruth

Jenny Gilruth who herself came under pressure from critics for not doing enough to intervene in the ScotRail train drivers strike, said it was “vitally important” for all parties to work together to find a resolution and has been urging the UK transport secretary Grant Shapps to intervene.

She has accused the UK transport minister Grant Shapps - who has said it is not his role to intervene - of making the situation "more challenging and more difficult".

In a letter to Mr Shapps, Miss Gilruth urged him to "instruct Network Rail and the relevant train operating companies to return to the negotiating table".

She said this is "exactly what I did with ScotRail in the most recent dispute - so that we can get to that resolution to reinstate full services and avoid any further strikes".

Ms Gilruth has previously been accused by critics of mismanagement over the now resolved Aslef pay dispute - which crippled ScotRail services for nearly two months with full services only starting on Monday.

Opposition MSPs had accused her of "abdicating her responsibiity" by refusing to get involved in the pay dispute.

But the Scottish Conservatives' transport spokesman Graham Simpson said: "It takes some gall for Jenny Gilruth to write a letter in which she berates the UK Government for disruption to rail services, backs the unions planning the strikes and says she won't support reforms.

"For weeks, Scotland was saddled with a skeleton train service thanks to her botched nationalisation of ScotRail and the pay dispute with Aslef. It's important to get the current dispute resolved as soon as possible."

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "It is a matter for unions and employers – not government – to engage in meaningful talks on modernisation practices to avoid damaging strike action and prevent chaos on the railways. Government is not the employer here."