Wednesday February 21st 2018
Local MSP Christine Grahame has questioned the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, on the issues faced by passengers travelling on the Borders Railway for the International Rugby at Murrayfield on Sunday 11th February. The 10:45 service from Tweedbank was originally intended to be made up of 5 carriages to accommodate rugby fans travelling to Edinburgh for the Scotland v France men’s match, however it departed with just 2 as a result of breakdown and subsequently was full with not even any standing room by the time it departed Galashiels.
Ahead of the Calcutta Cup match on Saturday, Ms Grahame sought assurances from the Minister that fans could expect a better experience this time round. Mr Yousaf in response committed to look in to planning for future major events and to pass the concerns on to ScotRail.
ScotRail have already stated they will add extra carriages on two of the last trains of the night: the 21.56 and 23.54 services from Edinburgh to alleviate pressure from fans travelling home after the later kick off (16:45).
Commenting Ms Grahame said:
“I was really angry and disappointed to hear what happened on Sunday 11th February. I had, in good faith, welcomed the news that additional carriages would be put on for the France match so it was a big let down to hear from my constituents that this was not the reality on the day. I’m pleased to hear ScotRail are putting on extra carriages for this weekend but will be keeping a close eye on it given the fiasco last time.
“I understand some technical issues may be unavoidable, but I really would have thought things could have been double checked in advance given the publicity and promises to people relying on the service on match days. This is why I raised this issue with the Transport Minister ahead of the next match against England on Saturday – the Borders is after all the home of rugby and a fair amount of the team, travelling fans should be able to rely on our local railway.
“I have also written to Alex Hynes, MD of ScotRail Alliance, to reiterate this point. Reliable services are always important but when there are big events it becomes critical to keep people moving.
“Here’s hoping both ScotRail and the Scotland squad put up a good performance on Saturday.”
In the morning trains will be a typical Saturday mix of 2, 3 and 4-car trains. In the evening the 2156 from Edinburgh is 5 carriages instead of 2, the 2354 from Edinburgh is 4 carriages instead of 2.
Any ScotRail customer who arrived at their destination 30 minutes or more late is entitled to compensation under ScotRail’s Delay Repay guarantee. Full details on the scheme can be found at: HERE.Tweet Share on Facebook