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 '''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 '''07710337520

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.”

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes