MSP Baillie demands better service from Scotrail and Government
By Bill Heaney
Scotrail services running through West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh have become a joke – and a bad one at that.
Constituency MSP Jackie Baillie has called on ScotRail and the Scottish Government to provide a better rail service for passengers following the ongoing problems with trains experienced by people in Dumbarton, Balloch and Helensburgh
Train services in the area have been disrupted for weeks and passengers have experienced 12 days of consistent disruption between Saturday 20th and Wednesday 31st October with delays and cancellations.
Passengers have been contacting Jackie to voice their frustration as they have missed work, college and university, and even hospital appointments due to delayed and cancelled trains across the area.
Jokes are coming thick and fast about the Scotrail services locally with Liz Lynch saying she faded away to a skeleton while waiting for a train.
While Scotrail has been putting on some replacement bus services, these do not begin to offer enough seats for the number of passengers who use the trains. In a further blow to passengers, First Bus ticket acceptance only covers routes from Glasgow to Dalmuir. Passengers travelling to and from Dumbarton, Balloch and Helensburgh are having to pay out again to use the bus.
Jackie raised the plight of local passengers in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, using a debate on ferries to talk about the train service.
She has also launched a petition which can be accessed from her website, facebook and twitter.
Speaking following the debate in Parliament, Jackie Baillie said: “Constant delays and cancellations have become the new normal for passengers travelling to and from Dumbarton, Balloch and Helensburgh. That is simply unacceptable when prices are being hiked up at every opportunity.
“The Scottish Government has given ScotRail free reign and weakened the targets they need to meet. So instead of standing up for commuters they are letting ScotRail off the hook.
“Passengers deserve better than this. They need a service that they can rely on. I have launched a petition to demand improvements to local train services and I would welcome support from local commuters so we can make ScotRail sit up and listen.
“It is time that ScotRail and the Scottish Government took the problems with our rail services seriously and put passengers before profits.”