Passenger lam­basts ‘poor’ rail ser­vice

The Oban Times - - News -

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.’

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