Rise in number of trains skipping stops on Milngavie line

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Figures obtained by Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer show that 151 stations were skipped on the line to Milngavie in 2019 – an increase on 128 stations in 2018.

These figures are only for inbound services. Data for trains leaving Milngavie is not available but would likely significantly increase the figure, according to Mr Greer.

Across Scotland, an average of seven ScotRail trains skipped stations every day, despite Abellio’s promise that they had ended the practice. The data shows that in total 2,660 ScotRail trains skipped stations in 2019, which was an increase of more than 500 on the previous year.

West of Scotland Green MSP Ross Greer said: “It is extremely disappointing that instances of stop skipping have increased by almost a fifth in a year.

“In Bearsden and Milngavie people rely on rail services for work, education, and so much more and it is simply unacceptable that this not only keeps happening but is getting worse after Scotrail told us it had ended.

“It isn’t unreasonable to expect that your train calls at all the stations advertised. Everyone accepts that delays and cancellations will happen from time to time on a busy network, but we only need to look at other European countries to see how poor the UK’s rail network is by comparison.

“The evidence is undeniable that redualling the line to Milngavie will prevent a huge number of these cancellations, which is why my campaign will continue.

“If one train is delayed on these single track sections, all subsequent trains are delayed and the only way to stop the domino effect is to skip some stops or cancel a train. Redualling means that the system will be able to catch up without skipping stops.

“With the climate emergency only getting worse and dangerous air pollution at Bearsden Cross on the increase, we need to encourage more people out of their cars and onto public transport. Higher fares for a worse service aren’t the way to do that”.

“The Scottish Government could solve these problems for a fraction of the budget it has allocated to unnecessary motorway expansion projects”.

Last week, a spokesperson for Transport Scotland, the national transport agency for Scotland, delivering the Scottish Government’s vision for transport told the Herald that they had no plans to redual the Milngavie line and insisted customers were seeing a marked improvement in service reliability.

He said: “We currently have no plans to double the tracks on the Milngavie branch.

Recent infrastructure works at Westerton along with the improvement plan actions taken by ScotRail has had a direct impact on reducing delays and improving performance of services using the Milngavie line.

“Customers are seeing a marked improvement with service reliability as a result. Further infrastructure works are planned which will see performance improve even further.”