Elderly rail passengers in Falkirk not only mind the gap – they now fear it

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Scotrail has been quizzed about the gap between its trains and railway platforms as an increasing number of complaints claim it is dangerously wide.

The firm states the gap is not any wider than it has always been at local stations and it has not seen a “particular rise” in the number of passengers reporting concerns about the gap between the train and the platform.

However, a near miss at Camelon Railway Station forced one elderly commuter to take action.

Janet Middleton (76), from Tamfourhill, told Scotrail: “I could not get off the train, I was terrified just looking at that gap. My daughter-in-law reached out to help me and my bag of shopping fell onto the tracks.”

Mrs Middleton got her local MSP, and now Scottish transport minister, Michael Matheson involved in the issue.

His office correspondence to Scotrail stated: “Constituents advise they are becoming increasingly concerned at the difficulty in being able to enter and leave a train without assistance.

“Constituents who are elderly, or who require a walking aid, are finding difficulty in bridging the gap and pulling themselves onto the train or descending off it.”

Scotrail state there are a number of measures already in place to support customers when it comes to getting on or off its trains.

A spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear of Mrs Middleton’s experience. The safety of our customers and colleagues is a priority, and we have confirmed that there has been no change to the size of the gap between the train and the platform at Camelon.

“We offer assistance to customers who need a bit of extra help getting on or off the train, and we would encourage anyone with concerns to get in touch.”