At a meeting this week between Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, Alex Hynes, Managing Director of ScotRail, and Milngavie resident Lynn Reid, the ScotRail director accepted that performance on the Milngavie line had been unacceptable and laid out the steps that the company was taking to improve train services.
Passengers across the ScotRail network have been hit by delays, and Milngavie was identified as the worst performing station in the country with only 27.5% of trains arriving on time. ScotRail recently accepted all of the recommendations made in the independent Donovan Report into ScotRail’s operations, one of which suggested working urgently to improve right-time departures from Milngavie.
The ‘expressing’ of trains on the Milngavie line – where trains skip stations to compensate for late-running services – has also been a problem, often leaving passengers stranded on the platform and leading to overcrowding on subsequent trains. ScotRail recently announced that the practice of stop-skipping on the Milngavie line would be banned and only used ‘as a last resort’.
Lenzie and Bishopbriggs have also been affected by ScotRail delays, as the lower frequency of trains on that line means that any delays have a more pronounced knock-on effect.
Commenting, Jo said:
“The meeting today was productive. Passengers deserve a proper explanation for the causes of delays, and I am pleased that ScotRail have shown a willingness to improve accountability by publishing statistics on local performance measures.
“Improvements on the network this summer must not just be seasonal, and it is reassuring that the company are already preparing for autumnal conditions by cutting back trees whose leaves could fall on the line, as well as grinding down the track to increase friction so that trains can run better in wet weather.
“I also pressed ScotRail to consider introducing location-tracking devices on trains so that control centres can monitor more closely the progress of services across the network.”
Lynn Reid said:
“It was refreshing to hear Scotrail admit that their performance has been below an acceptable standard and that they are taking measures to improve this.
“Having been affected by stop skipping on numerous occasions and starting a petition against this, it was particularly pleasing to hear they have now banned this practice and are focusing on getting passengers to their destination. I hope to see a continued improvement, providing customers with the service they expect and are paying for.”
You can sign Jo Swinson MP's petition calling for improvements to the Milngaive line here.