Milngavie and Bearsden commuters quiz Scotrail boss

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Concerned local commuters quizzed a rail boss at a packed public meeting in Milngavie last week.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson invited Scotrail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes to the event at the local primary school.

It was an opportunity for people to discuss the issues with the Milngavie line, which has been plagued with late and cancelled trains.

It has consistently performed poorly and has regularly been the worst in Scotland for trains arriving on time.

At the meeting, people voiced their frustrations, and discussed how the unreliability of the Milngavie line 
affected their daily lives.

Ms Swinson, who recently conducted a survey on people’s experiences, said: “One commuter said a train was cancelled while on it and they had to get off at Partick. It took three hours to get home on a journey that should have 
taken half an hour.”

The local MP added: “East Dunbartonshire Council and I are set to meet with SNP Transport Secretary Michael Matheson soon, to discuss the merits of re-dualling the line between Milngavie and Westerton.

“Disappointingly, Mr Matheson has cancelled this meeting twice but I look forward to receiving confirmation it will be going ahead in the near future.

“Everyone is incredibly frustrated. In my survey, 75% of respondents described the Milngavie line as either ‘poor’ or ‘appalling’. Little wonder, when two thirds of them experience delays at least once a week.

“It was good to have a chance to air our grievances with ScotRail boss Alex Hynes. ScotRail needs to sort this mess out, and if they cannot, the SNP government in Holyrood must end their franchise deal early.”

Mr Hynes said: “We know that the service the people of East Dunbartonshire have experienced in recent months hasn’t been good enough.

“We have made changes at Westerton, and allowed more time for trains turning round at Milngavie.

“Both of these have had a positive impact with right time departures improving by 17.5 per cent since December.

“We are confident that that hard work will result in continued improvement in services.”