RAIL passengers travelling between Glasgow and Motherwell are to be offered tickets for free bus travel if their train services are subject to lengthy delays or cancellation.
A trial scheme has been launched by ScotRail in an effort to limit the impact of severe disruption by offering free alternative transport on First Glasgow buses.
The pilot scheme aims to make it easier for passengers to reach their destinations, particularly when extreme weather is causing significant issues on the rail network.
The trial will take in services from Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street to more than 100 stations on a variety of routes, including the Glasgow-Motherwell line.
If severe disruption affects the selected rail routes, ScotRail ticket holders will be able to exchange rail tickets for vouchers for use on the appropriate First Glasgow bus service.
Initially the trial will be limited to outbound journeys only, but if successful it is hoped that it can be operated in both directions, and on more routes.
Replacement transport will continue to be provided for customers with disabilities, on journeys to Glasgow Central or Glasgow Queen Street or going to stations in locations not served by First Glasgow, or not included in the trial.
ScotRail managing director Steve Montgomery said: “Customers using Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street will benefit from being able to reach their destinations more quickly when severe disruption affects the area’s railways.
“I hope the trial will reduce the need for us to order replacement buses when rail lines are blocked because it can take up to an hour for these to reach Glasgow city centre - or even longer during bus peak travel times.”
First Glasgow managing director Ronnie Park added: “We operate almost 1,000 buses in Glasgow and Lanarkshire and are ideally placed to get many of ScotRail’s customers home safely and quickly, should there be disruption on the rail network.
“I’m pleased that this pilot has been introduced and have every confidence that it will prove successful.”
The scheme will only be used during major disruption.