Milngavie Councillor joins calls for rail bosses to think again on reducing train service

Local politicians have criticised rail bosses for planning to continue reductions to train services at Milngavie until May 2023.

Councillor Jim Gibbons hits out a rail services on Milngavie line

Scotrail have published new proposals for timetable changes, with some services returning to their more frequent pre-pandemic levels.

However, Councillor Jim Gibbons (SNP, Milngavie) and Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer, who lives locally, said this is not the case for the Milngavie line, where the current reduced timetable is to operate until May 2023 when a further review will take place.

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Services to Milngavie previously operated every 15 minutes until late into the evening but in recent months they have been reduced to half-hourly outwith peak times.

Councillor Gibbons said: “When I was growing up in Milngavie, we had three trains per hour and everyone knew to be at the station for on the hour, twenty past, and twenty to the hour. This is the absolute minimum acceptable level of service that I would expect in today's climate.

"Two trains per hour is just not good enough and I think this will be made clear in the consultation. It is important that people feel comfortable travelling on our trains with the continuing pandemic.

"People need to switch away from their cars when they can and continuing with two trains per hour is not going to help the environment.

"I would encourage Scotrail to think again about reducing the service given the recent investment in the Milngavie line.”

Mr Greer has long campaigned for improvements to the Milngavie line, including the relaying of the second track to boost performance and construction of the long-proposed Allander station.

The Green politician urged local residents to respond to Scotrail’s passenger consultation before it closes on Friday, October 1.

He said: “This is a self-fulfilling prophecy from Scotrail. If your justification for reduced services is that fewer passengers are returning to the railways, you are simply guaranteeing that outcome by providing them fewer services to return to.

"With Scotland’s transport emissions still rising and air pollution returning as a public health issue at Bearsden Cross post-lockdown, we should be making it easier rather than harder to use public transport.”

“Timetable reductions on other routes are scheduled to last only until May of next year.

"I have written to Scotrail to ask why they believe extending reduction on the Milngavie line until the following year is necessary.”

For more information on train times in the local area, visit www.scotrail.co.uk/west-scotland.

Greer added: “Given that Scotrail will be transferred into public ownership during this period, I have also written to the Scottish Government’s Transport Minister, asking that he intervene as soon as possible to ensure rail services in Bearsden and Milngavie return to a greater frequency.

"I would urge local commuters to make their views known to Scotrail before their consultation closes. You can do so at www.scotrail.co.uk/west-scotland.”