Friday April 5th 2019
Local MSP Christine Grahame has written to ScotRail CEO Alex Hynes to invite him to join her on a rush hour service from Tweedbank to Waverley to allow him to see issues first hand, after she again raised the performance of Borders Railway with the First Minister.
This follows another spate of peak time cancellations this morning on the line, with four trains cancelled between 05:44 and 07:57 and reduced availability on many of the trains running.
Ms Grahame has previously raised the issues of cancellations and overcrowding at Holyrood, having questioned Mr Hynes when he appeared in front of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee last week. At that session Ms Grahame was critical of ScotRail’s failure to have anyone with overall responsibility for workforce planning, having only brought forward plans for such a role recently.
Commenting, Ms Grahame said:
“I’m disappointed to hear there has again been rush hour cancellations on Borders Railway, in spite of ScotRail CEO Alex Hynes’ reassurances at parliament last week that passengers should already be seeing improvements.
“These cancellations are bad enough but the subsequent overcrowding it creates on the services that are running is not acceptable. I’ve heard from constituents that a number of people were taken ill this morning as a result of the levels of overcrowding, including one who needed medical attention and one who was pregnant. Of course there is also the matter of people who simply couldn’t get on the train as it was already full when it reached their stop.
“ScotRail is in its last chance saloon if it wants to keep its franchise, and it has to start making real progress to getting services running properly as a matter of urgency. This is why I’ve written to Mr Hynes to invite him to accompany me on a morning peak train journey from Tweedbank to Waverley, so he can see for himself the real experiences of my constituents in trying to use the service day to day.”
Here is Christine Grahame’s question at First Minister’s Questions.