Scotland's hospitality businesses losing £50m due to rail strikes, industry warns

Hospitality businesses across Scotland could lose around £50 million due to the impact of industrial action taking place on the railways this week, industry bosses say.

By Lauren Gilmour
Friday, 24th June 2022, 3:53 pm

Leon Thompson, executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, said members of the organisation have been reporting bookings being cancelled by customers as strike action by rail workers in a dispute over pay and conditions saw services grind to a halt. A third walkout is planned for Saturday.

He said: “The rail strike is proving to be extremely damaging to hospitality businesses in Scotland. Members have been reporting cancellations all week as customers have been forced to change their plans. A further day of action on Saturday will be devastating for businesses that need to be able to trade fully.

“UKHospitality Scotland estimates that the financial loss to our businesses this week will be in excess of £50 million. Three days of action has led to a week of cancellations and a lost weekend, leaving businesses already experiencing financial difficulties in an even tougher place.”

The rail workers dispute could halt crowds travelling to TRNSMT in Glasgow next month

His comments come after RMT union general secretary Mick Lynch warned there could be further strikes if the row is not resolved.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said prolonged industrial action could impact on upcoming events such as Edinburgh’s festivals and TRNSMT in Glasgow.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We would be very concerned if strikes are to be prolonged throughout the summer as this would seriously impact key events such as the Edinburgh festivals and music festivals taking place across Scotland, as well as further hampering the night-time sector.”

Services will also be reduced on Sunday due to ScotRail’s temporary timetable.

Rail travel disruption could affect visitors heading to Edinburgh for the Festival and Fringe