Rail issues being monitored

Thursday September 17th 2015

Borders Railway

The opening of the Borders Railway has witnessed unprecedented public interest, with 23,500 journeys to and from the seven new stations made to date and local MSP Christine Grahame has been pressing ScotRail for updates on improvements to services on a daily basis.

Ms Grahame has received a number of complaints about issues affecting travellers on the new line following the success of the Opening celebrations.

She said:

“I have been given assurances that ScotRail has put plans in place to reduce pressures; including creating colour coded timetables to provide advance notice to occasional rail passengers, where they can expect services will be busier than usual.

“ScotRail has confirmed that ticket machines are now working correctly after there were issues affecting Galashiels and Tweedbank stations.”

The biggest issue affecting people has been a shortage of carriages and Ms Grahame has been told this is being addressed and monitored.

She added:

“ScotRail is adding extra carriages from this weekend, in some cases doubling the number, to some Borders Railway services following the complaints of passengers being unable to board trains, including temporarily doubling the number of carriages on a Sunday and Saturday peak services.

“It is doubling carriages on the 16:24 from Edinburgh – Tweedbank which is a key commuter service. It will also closely monitor passenger numbers to ensure there is sufficient capacity on scheduled services and will utilise all available rolling stock to its full effect.”

In addition the punctuality of the Borders railway continues to improve, with 96 per cent of services on time on Monday, 14th September and 97 per cent on Tuesday 15th. This outperformed the majority of the Scottish rail network. Punctuality on Wednesday, 16 September was 65 per cent caused by operational issues which ScotRail is investigating.

Ms Grahame added:

“The levels of interest from commuters and leisure travellers during the first week of operation has been unprecedented.

“I would urge people to continue to use the trains and while I can understand frustrations I am confident these teething issues will be ironed out in time. If, in the meantime, they have any issues I would urge them to email me (christine.grahame.msp@scottish.parliament.uk) and I can go back to ScotRail with their concerns.”

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