Calls to bring back Polmont to Stirling rail service

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Problems with recent changes to rail services at Polmont station have been raised at Holyrood.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald yesterday called on ScotRail to consider reinstating direct services from Polmont to Stirling.

He stated the changes implemented in December, which saw the loss of a direct route to Stirling from Polmont and Linlithgow, were affecting many of his constituents.

Changes to the timetable on the Dunblane route from Edinburgh now mean passengers travelling from either stations now have to change at Falkirk Grahamston, with an additional wait for the connecting train, resulting in journey times increasing significantly.

Mr MacDonald has written to Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Abellio ScotRail on the subject.

Speaking in Holyrood, Mr MacDonald said: “I have been contacted by several constituents affected by these changes and have put these issues to both ScotRail and the Scottish Government over the past few weeks.

“It is, however, becoming increasingly apparent the loss of direct services to Stirling are causing a greater impact than was intended. Therefore, it makes absolute sense for ScotRail, who are responsible for any timetable changes, to fully reconsider these changes and see that services are restored for my constituents and passengers elsewhere in the country.

“I will, of course, continue to liaise with those constituents who have contacted me and with the Scottish Government and ScotRail on their behalf, and I would expect to see progress on this issue as soon as possible.

“My constituents have every right to be frustrated, and I know that some of them are no longer using our rail services because of these changes – it is up to ScotRail to provide the service their customers expect and deserve, and I will continue to represent my constituents to that effect.

“Although the Cabinet Secretary’s response is to be welcomed, I understand that there is very little the Scottish Government can do where timetables are concerned. “I am confident that they are, however, pushing ScotRail to provide a better level of service for customers and I look forward to those targets put in place by the Scottish Government being met and exceeded as soon as possible.”

Back in December, Scotrail stated the new timetables, which also feature new routes would “markedly improve” services for passengers and, thanks to investment in new trains and infrastructure, would lay the foundations of “the best railway Scotland has ever had”.

It also claimed the new timetable was just the initial phase of a wider scheme, linked to electrification, that will take railway services to a new level.