Passenger lambasts ‘poor’ rail service
A GLASGOW nun has lambasted rail bosses over what she claims is the unacceptable poor standard of rail services connecting the city with Fort William.
Sister Ishbel MacPherson, a native of Fort William who has lived in Glasgow for many years, told the Lochaber Times how the morning train she was travelling on from Glasgow’s Queen Street Station to Fort William on Monday July 24, stopped at Crianlarich.
‘All the passengers bound for Fort William and Mallaig were asked to disembark and to board a bus for the remainder of their journey. When I asked a member of staff what the reason was, I was told it was because there was not enough crew,’ said Sister MacPherson. ‘Being a pensioner, I could have travelled on the bus for free if I’d known about the train problems, instead of spending £ 53.40 only to be deposited in Crianlarich and told to get on a bus. There was no advance warning at Queen Street Station so I didn’t get a choice. And in June, when I travelled on a 7.45am train from Roy Bridge, there was no trolley service all the way to Glasgow, or any wi-fi.
‘It’s a bit much expecting people to make a fourhour train trip with nothing to eat or drink.’
Sister MacPherson says she has since written a letter of complaint to the chief executive of ScotRail Alliance.
‘When you see adverts claiming 90 per cent of Scots are satisified with rail services in this country, they obviously don’t mean people in the Fort William area,’ she said. ‘It just seems to be the end of the line that no- one cares about, with Oban getting preferential treatment.’
ScotRail Alliance confirmed that between June 25 and July 23 there was a single cancellation of service because of a shortage of either a driver or conductor. There was a further cancellation on Thursday August 3 due to there being no driver.
A ScotRail Alliance spokesperson said: ‘It is extremely frustrating for customers when we have to cancel a service at short notice and we always try to give as much notice as possible. In the rare occurrence of this happening, we’ll provide replacement bus or taxi travel to get customers to their destinations.’
Sister MacPherson added: ‘The bus doesn’t take the same route as the train, so if you were hoping to see a certain part of the country from the train, you’d miss out on that as well.’