South Ayrshire's rail services could be set to see major disruption as ScotRail engineering staff ready themselves for strike action.

The national Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) confirmed that strike action over the issue of “equality between grades in payments for rest day working” will go ahead on Sunday, May 2 as planned.

Earlier this month ticket examiners voted in favour of walkouts over the dispute and May 2 marks the first of their six weeks of action.

This weekend was due to be the last of six Sundays of strikes by conductors but, from May 9, these workers will begin another six Sundays of action.

And this could cause significant disruption to Sunday services to and from the area, as lockdown restrictions lift and the better weather returns.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “We now have the appalling prospect of poorly trained managers being drafted in without any experience to scab on RMT members’ jobs, regardless of the safety consequences.

“If Abellio and Transport Scotland think our members are going to be burnt off by this refusal to engage, then they know nothing of their own workforce and their resilience.

“RMT remains available for talks and it’s about time the company started acting responsibly and took up that offer.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said earlier this week: “The RMT’s strike action is wrong and will have a significant impact on customers who are returning to the railway as lockdown eases.

“At a time when we need to attract people back to the railway to recover the business and secure jobs, the RMT’s damaging actions will turn people away.

“We will do everything we can to minimise the consequences of this action, but customers who are trying to get back to some form of normality will be affected and may have to find alternative travel solutions.”

ScotRail has warned customers to plan ahead as significant disruption is expected as a result of the action.

A small number of services will still operate and the company aims to increase these in the weeks ahead.