MSP Joan McAlpine has branded the unreliability of rail services for those commuting from Dumfries and Galloway ‘unacceptable’.
The SNP MSP spoke up on behalf of commuters after constituents approached her telling of how they are being forced to leave the region because daily delays and cancellations to rail services make it impossible to get to work on time.
In a letter to the heads of Network rail and Abellio – who operate the TransPennine and Scotrail services respectively - Ms McAlpine wrote:
“My constituents who have taken up jobs in Edinburgh presumed – fairly – that they would be able to commute to Edinburgh utilising the 7.11 TransPennine service to Carstairs, and then board the 7.50 Scotrail service to Edinburgh. But, as a result of poor services both on the TransPennine and Scotrail part of the journey they have been late to work every day. Some have even made the decision to uproot their lives and leave Dumfries and Galloway because the commute is too risky.”
The South Scotland MSP added:
“A quick glance at the statistics on delays shows that over the past 12 weeks, only 85% of the 7.50 ScotRail services from Carstairs have arrived under 5 minutes late in Edinburgh. The last couple of weeks have been appalling. On Thursday the 12th the service was 22 minutes late and on Monday the 16th the service was 17 minutes late.
“This simply isn’t good enough for my constituents – who are entitled to a reliable service, which will allow them to commute to work in Edinburgh and not be left stressed and worrying about looking unprofessional because they are constantly running late.”