MSP seeks Borders Rail assurances from ScotRail boss

Wednesday April 24th 2019

Michelle Ballantyne MSP and ScotRail CEO Alex Hynes

Michelle Ballantyne MSP and ScotRail CEO Alex Hynes

Written by Midlothian View reporter, Luke Jackson

This week, Michelle Ballantyne MSP met with the ScotRail CEO, Alex Hynes, to discuss the Borders Railway.

Following a public meeting earlier this month where Mr. Hynes conceded that commuters “are not getting the service they deserve”, Mrs. Ballantyne spoke to the ScotRail boss to seek assurances that the service would improve soon.

After a delay in the delivery of new carriages, commuters on the Borders Railway have been subjected to numerous delays, disruptions and cancellations on the Tweedbank-Edinburgh service.

A recent survey of commuters on the Borders Railway revealed that 6 percent of respondents had been late for work because of delays or cancellations, with 78 percent of those polled having missed appointments due to the unreliability of the service.

One commuter stated that they had to set off three hours before the start of their shift at work due to unreliability.

This comes after statistics last week which revealed that over 27,000 trains were cancelled by ScotRail last year- the equivalent of 74 trains every day. The figures from the Office for Road and Rail highlighted that ScotRail’s performance last year have been the worst since records began in 1997.

Michelle Ballantyne highlighted that currently the Borders Railway “simply isn’t good enough” and highlighted the need for immediate action to tackle the current issues on the line.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

“I had a productive conversation with Alex Hynes regarding the state of the Borders Railway. It’s an issue that has affected many of my constituents in Midlothian.

“The fact of the matter is that something has to change, and soon. Thousands of people rely on the trains to get to work, school and to see loved ones. This service has been letting them down and it simply isn’t good enough.

“I’ve had a lot of constituents contact me about how this is affecting their lives. It’s impacting people’s ability to get to work on time, to attend appointments and to travel. This is why I will continue to press ScotRail and the Scottish Government about this issue.

“Commuters in Midlothian deserve better than the service they’ve received so far. It’s up to the Scottish Government and their authorities to ensure that we have a reliable rail service that’s fit for purpose.”

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