MSP demands answers on rail complaint

22/04/14, TSPL shift, Scottish Parliament, Scotland's Voice in the EU debate. Michael McMahon MSP speaking during the debate. Picture Ian Rutherford.''�Ian Rutherford 'ianrutherfordphotography@gmail.com'www.ianrutherfordphotography.com'07710337520
22/04/14, TSPL shift, Scottish Parliament, Scotland's Voice in the EU debate. Michael McMahon MSP speaking during the debate. Picture Ian Rutherford.''�Ian Rutherford 'ianrutherfordphotography@gmail.com'www.ianrutherfordphotography.com'07710337520
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MSP Michael McMahon has welcomed a ScotRail commitment to review controversial timetable changes to Bellshill and Uddingston services.

Mr McMahon met ScotRail bosses following an outcry from a number of his Uddingston and Bellshill constituents adversely affected by the changes.

And he said he was told the changes had been driven by a demand from the Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency to increase the availability of trains to Lanark.

To do that, he was told, ScotRail had to remove trains going through Bellshill and Uddingston from Lanark and leave only trains from Edinburgh to Glasgow Central

Passengers from Bellshill and Uddingston now have to change at Cambuslang to stations serving major venues such as the Emirates Arena, the SECC and the Hydro.

People using the low level service to commute to work in Uddingston and Bellshill from the Glasgow area no longer have train times which suit that purpose.

ScotRail advised Mr McMahon it constantly reviews its timetable and would report on the impact of the new timetable in time for the next timetable change in May 2015 when the current franchise will transfer to the Dutch owned operator Arbellio.

Mr McMahon said: “To my amazement ScotRail and the Scottish Government genuinely believe that the changes provide an improved service when the extensive evidence made available to me by constituents contradicts this.

“I am pleased that ScotRail has recognised the strength of concern behind my complaint and have agreed to keep the issue under review before they hand over responsibility for the problem to the new operator.

“I can assure those affected by the changes that I will continue to take this matter up with ScotRail and their successor until a satisfactory conclusion is secured.”