‘ I can­not take any more of sta­tion chaos’

Com­muter’s plea to politi­cians

Ayrshire Post - - Troon News - Stephen Hous­ton

A des­per­ate com­muter who moved to Ayr for its easy com­mute to Glas­gow says he has been “bro­ken” by the Ayr Sta­tion chaos.

And Mark Barnard has writ­ten to his MSP, MP, and all coun­cil­lors in Ayr­shire West to keep up pres­sure to get a proper so­lu­tion.

The 41- year- old said re­mov­ing the free car park at the sta­tion was the “fi­nal turn of the thumb­screw” on his abil­ity to man­age his life in Ayr.

Mark re­vealed the only spa­ces re­main­ing are taken by 6.30am and that rail staff say por­ta­ble huts are about to take their place.

He chose to share his let­ter to the politi­cians with the Ayr­shire Post to show the im­pact the fi­asco is hav­ing on peo­ple.

It reads: “I am a suc­cess­ful pro­fes­sional, liv­ing in Ayr and work­ing in Glas­gow. We chose to live in Ayr for the qual­ity of life it of­fers my chil­dren, and be­cause of the lo­ca­tion of my wife’s job.

“My de­ci­sion to live in Ayr was based on it be­ing com­mutable to Glas­gow. As I need to work on the train, and be back in Ayr to pick up my chil­dren by 5.30pm, the train ser­vice ( tim­ing, fre­quency, avail­abil­ity and cost of car park­ing), was crit­i­cal to my de­ci­sion to move here, and my abil­ity to con­tinue liv­ing here.

“As we live at the end of the line, our rail tick­ets are the most ex­pen­sive. If free car park­ing is re­moved, I add a min­i­mum of £ 5 a day to my out­go­ings; an­other £ 100 a month.

“I can­not af­ford this; it makes liv­ing in Ayr and com­mut­ing fi­nan­cially bru­tal. I have 15 min­utes to get from the sta­tion to my child­care provider in Al­loway, which shuts at 5.30pm. I do not have time to walk to an­other car park - even if one ex­isted that I could af­ford.

“Ev­ery­thing, when you have a fam­ily and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, is tight. Any changes have a mas­sive im­pact to rou­tine and the man­age­abil­ity of life.

“As a re­sult of the trains that I need to catch home - ter­mi­nat­ing in Prest­wick now - ( which are only about a third full, so WHY they can’t be four car­riages and go into Ayr, God only knows) I have had to ne­go­ti­ate with my em­ployer to leave work in Glas­gow at 3.45 pm.

“The rea­son for this early de­par­ture is Scotrail’s de­ci­sion to ter­mi­nate the trains I need to catch in Prest­wick. The ad­di­tional time it takes to get a bus from Prest­wick to Ayr, and then to drive to Al­loway has made my pre­vi­ous ar­range­ment ( catch the 4.30pm train from Glas­gow) im­pos­si­ble.

“I can­not take any more and I am sure I am not the only one. I am so an­gry, and yet feel so ut­terly pow­er­less against the mon­u­men­tal and un­for­give­able lack of thought for us vic­tims of this sham­bles.

“Why has no­body com­mu­ni­cated about the re­moval of the sta­tion car park and free park­ing?

“Why has no­body thought of the im­pact this has on peo­ple liv­ing here and why has a con­tin­gency not been agreed?

“I ask you, my elected mem­bers, to work to­gether to get a so­lu­tion, some­thing, any­thing that shows some­body un­der­stands the pro­found and ever in­creas­ing im­pact that this is hav­ing on our lives.

“We need to know timescales, al­ter­na­tive free park­ing and need to know fu­ture plans.”

Com­muters are strug­gling Barnard Mark

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