MSP seeks talks over rail service changes

Mairi Gougeon has been indated with complaints about the ScotRail timetable changes
Mairi Gougeon has been indated with complaints about the ScotRail timetable changes

A local politician is seeking a meeting with ScotRail bosses following timetable changes and disruption on the East Coast main line impacting on services in the Mearns.

Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon has been contacted by a number of constituents complaining about the alterations, which have seen direct trains south withdrawn and services terminate at Montrose.

It has resulted in long waiting periods for passengers until the arrival of the next train.

Ms Gougeon is arranging talks with ScotRail chief executive Alex Hynes in Laurencekirk.

The MSP said Laurencekirk residents were now abandoning the station if they wanted to travel south.

She explained: “They are choosing to drive to Montrose and getting the train there, that’s if they have chosen not to give up on the train and use their car for the entire journey.

“The residents of Laurencekirk launched a successful campaign to have the station reopened 10 years ago, these new changes mean a step back in terms of usage if people are forced to go elsewhere or use the car, providing they have one.”

Ms Gougeon added: “This is a ridiculous state of affairs and that is why I have invited ScotRail chief executive Alex Hynes to visit Laurencekirk.

“I hope that he will see first-hand the negative impact the timetable changes have had for many people who use the network in the North-east.

“Many constituents have been in touch from Stonehaven to Montrose with concerns about the way that the new timetable has been implemented. |At my Laurencekirk surgery recently this was the issue repeatedly raised with me by constituents.

“Given that the train travel is vital for people in the North East of Scotland, it is important that the timetable reflects the needs of those who most need to use the service.”