WEST FIFERS could face travel disruption as a result of train strikes.

Commuters on the Fife Circle could be delayed after Aslef, the union which represents train drivers, said they had "no option" but to ballot members for action.

ScotRail was taken into public ownership on April 1 for the first time in 25 years.

Since the change, Aslef said they had been "disappointed by the lack of action and any meaningful pay offer".

The union's organiser, Kevin Lindsay, had hoped that the move would create a more positive outlook for workers.

He said: "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.

"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."

Transport Scotland responded by highlighting the transport minister's recent support for rail union RMT over pay disputes with Network Rail.

A spokesperson said: "Rail unions have long campaigned for public ownership and this Scottish Government has delivered our railways back into the public sector control.

"The transport minister has frequently met with rail unions in recent months and we absolutely understand the unions' desire to negotiate a fair settlement for their members.

"Very recently, the minister has provided clear support for the RMT in their current pay dispute with Network Rail at a UK level.

"Rail unions are aware any additional increase above public sector pay policy amounts have a clear process which must be followed which includes Cabinet approval."

They added that ScotRail workers had already received a previously-negotiated 2.2 per cent pay rise for the year.

"We would encourage them to continue meaningful dialogue with ScotRail so a mutually-agreeable outcome can be reached as soon as possible," the spokesperson added.

"It is our intention for ScotRail and its staff to benefit from the transition to public sector control and that is why we would call on everyone involved to take time to consider all options carefully."