Rail hopes

Travel bosses pub­lish re­port to make ser­vices bet­ter

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

Ruther­glen train com­muters have out­lined what changes they would like im­ple­mented in or­der to im­prove their jour­neys with ScotRail.

Their com­ments come af­ter the launch of the com­pany’s Per­for­mance Im­prove­ment Plan.

Ruther­glen train com­muters have out­lined what changes they would like im­ple­mented in or­der to im­prove their jour­neys with ScotRail.

Their com­ments come af­ter the an­nounce­ment of the com­pany’s Per­for­mance Im­prove­ment Plan which high­lights de­tails on how they will im­prove train ser­vices.

It sets out ac­tions that are be­ing put in place to im­prove the re­li­a­bil­ity of trains and to en­sure that the train in­fra­struc­ture is op­er­at­ing to its op­ti­mum ef­fi­ciency.

Within the re­port, ScotRail con­firmed 20,000 week­day seats were added to the net­work since they took over the fran­chise, largely due to seven ad­di­tional elec­tri­cal trains in and around Glas­gow.

They have also promised to in­crease ca­pac­ity from the 506,191 seats that were in ser­vice every week­day in May 2015, to 616,000 in De­cem­ber 2019.

The plan would please Anna Smith, 21, from To­ry­glen, who trav­els to and from Ed­in­burgh Napier Uni­ver­sity weekly.

She said: “I get the train to Ed­in­burgh and it’s ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive. I pay £202 a month just to get in.

“I usu­ally can’t get a seat on the way back so there should be more of them. On the way back ev­ery­one is crammed in to­gether.”

The La­nark­shire In­fra­struc­ture Im­prove­ment Plan within ScotRail’s’ re­port, re­vealed points im­prove­ments were be­ing made to sta­tions in­clud­ing New­ton.

And de­spite a range of works between Ruther­glen and Glas­gow from De­cem­ber, ScotRail have promised there will not be dis­rup­tion to com­muters com­ing from Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang as con­struc­tion is tak­ing place between mid­night on Satur­days and 8am on Sun­days.

Terry Ran­ton, 32, from Kings Park, said he was frus­trated when trains from his work were ar­riv­ing late, caus­ing him to miss his con­nect­ing one.

He ex­plained: “When I’m go­ing to work they are reg­u­larly on time but on the way back they are al­ways late. I’d be bet­ter get­ting a bus.

“When I get the train from my work in Ud­dingston to Cam­bus­lang I switch trains to get to Ruther­glen and be­cause it’s al­ways two min­utes late, I miss the con­nect­ing train and it adds half an hour to my jour­ney.”

OAP Jim McLean, 72, was on his way to a can col­lec­tion for Can­cer Re­search in Ruther­glen when he stopped at the sta­tion to tell us his views.

He said: “I get the train from time to time. But what I have no­ticed, over the past nine to 12 months, is the ex­ter­nal con­di­tions. The roofs of the trains are dirt­ier and the con­di­tion of the blocks and the wheels also.

ScotRail’s re­port also re­veals an in­crease in tres­pass­ing through­out the past 12 months. It is un­der­stood 19 in­ci­dents hap­pened on or near train sta­tions at Ruther­glen, Cam­bus­lang, King’s Park, Croft­foot, Burn­side, Kirkhill and New­ton.

How­ever, good news for com­muters was there would be no cut to ser­vices fol­low­ing a re­view of the Ar­gyle Street line.

Irene Har­vey, 32, from Ruther­glen, of­ten gets the train to work in Glas­gow. She said: “They’ve got a lot bet­ter, I go from Ruther­glen to Glas­gow and I don’t re­ally see the dif­fer­ence in pric­ing. I of­ten travel at non-peak times.”

ScotRail Al­liance In­fra­struc­ture di­rec­tor, David Dick­son ad­mit­ted due to the amount of work tak­ing place, there was in­evitably go­ing to be some dis­rup­tion but ScotRail would do ev­ery­thing they could to min­imise it.

He added: “Over the course of the next year, we will be com­plet­ing huge projects to up­grade our in­fra­struc­ture, elec­tri­fy­ing large parts of the net­work and in­tro­duc­ing new fleets of faster, longer greener and in­ter­city trains.

“All of this work will trans­form rail travel in Scot­land. We will have shorter jour­ney times, bet­ter equipped trains and, cru­cially, a huge ex­pan­sion in the num­ber of ser­vices we run and the seats we are able to of­fer.”

Ex­ter­nal con­di­tions Jim McLean, 72

Lo­cal com­muter Irene Har­vey, 32

Late from work Terry Ran­ton, 32,

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