THE threat of a driver boycott on train services west of Dumbarton hasn’t gone away - despite a “massive” fall in reports of anti-social behaviour.

A union official told the Reporter that a train via Dumbarton was cancelled on Tuesday, August 29, after a driver booked off sick due to stress resulting from the anti-social behaviour experienced in recent weeks.

As previously reported, an emergency meeting was called in Helensburgh two weeks ago to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour after a number of incidents, including a railway worker having a cigarette flicked at him.

Security guards were put in place at Helensburgh Central by ScotRail on Saturday, August 12 to help tackle the issues, a first for ScotRail.

A review last week revealed that while the number of incidents at the station in Helensburgh itself has fallen, incidents were still being reported on trains between Dumbarton and Helensburgh – including verbal abuse of rail workers and one occasion where a blind passenger was spat upon.

And a meeting in the town on Wednesday, August 30 was told that the extra security at the station will be reviewed this weekend.

Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, said: “The meeting was helpful. There is still the issue of anti-social behaviour but it has been quieter.

"There is still the possibility that drivers will not want or be willing to put themselves in harm’s way.

“The issues of anti-social behaviour seem to be moving from Helensburgh but only to surrounding stations.”

Dumbarton MSP, Jackie Baillie, who attended the meeting, alongside ScotRail, trade union officials and council staff, called for the security guards to remain in place as long as is needed.

Social workers agreed to increase their communication with other organisations to inform them of the steps they are taking to resolve the issues.

A spokeswoman for the ScotRail Alliance told the Advertiser: “Security guards are still in place at Helensburgh Central.

"There is a meeting this Wednesday, September6, for a review of the position and to assess what will happen going forward.”