Trains regularly miss out on stations
Public left stranded on platforms over skip-stop
One train a day skipped Cambuslang train station but then completed its journey in the last month of 2016, new figures have revealed.
The numbers, revealed in a freedom of information request from the Reformer to Transport Scotland, show that between November 24 and December 31 2016, trains ‘skipstopped’ Cambuslang train station on 36 occasions, with 21 trains doing the same at Rutherglen train station, leaving passengers stranded.
Skip-stopping is when a train cuts stations out of its journey to make sure that it reaches it’s final destination on time.
For example, a train heading from Larkhall to Milngavie might be running late, and cut out the likes of Newton, Cambuslang and Rutherglen to make up time.
Stations in town, such as Argyle Street or Glasgow Central, are less likely to be affected by skip-stopping.
The Reformer had requested figures for all of 2016, however the information on skip-stopping has only been kept by Scotrail from November 24 last year.
Transport Scotland pointed to the fact that the figures are less than one per cent of the total number of trains scheduled to stop at Cambuslang and Rutherglen.
Clare Haughey, Rutherglen MSP, said: “Skip-stopping affected an extremely small percentage of commuter trains that served Rutherglen and Cambuslang during this period.
“Nonetheless, for those passengers affected by this, it is extremely inconvenient. Even where there may be scheduling reasons for the decision to skip stations, Scotrail have a duty to fully inform customers before they embark on their journey, or on the train itself.
“This should be done through effective and timely screen messages, or clear tannoy or on-board intercom announcements, so that customers can make alternative arrangements and not be left stranded at the wrong station.”
James Kelly, Labour list MSP, said: “Last year the SNP minister Humza Yousaf promised to scrap skip-stopping, yet Rutherglen and Cambuslang passengers regularly have to put up with ScotRail’s shambolic service.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting in an already late and overcrowded train and then it flying past where you’re meant to get off.
“Yet again the Nationalists are failing to get a grip of governing Scotland.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “Keeping Scotland’s railway running requires detailed planning to ensure trains and crews are in the right place at the right time.
“We appreciate ‘skip-stopping’ can be frustrating for passengers however even a small delay to one service can have a real impact on other services throughout the day, particularly where crews and carriages become displaced.
“That is why this is kept to a minimum, in the case of Rutherglen and Cambuslang equating to 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.”
Last year Scotrail announced that rush hour trains in the morning and evening would no longer skip-stop, even if delayed.