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Rail bosses accused of ‘misinformation’

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Rail bosses accused of ‘misinformation’

SCOTRAIL chiefs have been accused by an MSP of using “misinformation” to justify plans to cut ticket office opening hours at Lockerbie railway station.

The rail firm has been consulting on proposed changes at the station.

And according to their consultation document, Lockerbie Station would change from opening from 7.35 am -8.45 pm (Mon-Sat) to 7 am to 8.20 pm (Mon-Sat).

However, Mr Smyth has pointed out that at present the office actually opens at 6.50 am.

And he has accused them of using false times to give the impression that the office would soon be opening earlier to avoid any opposition to the plans.

With the ticket office also used as the waiting area and two busy trains leaving the station at 7.07 am to go north and trains south at 7.12 am then 7.26 am, the MSP fears that under the proposed changes passengers arriving for early morning trains will face a locked waiting room and won’t have enough time to buy tickets.

He also claims the move ignores passenger safety with the closing times moved forward to 8.20 pm, despite the fact trains leave the station at 8.37 pm for Edinburgh and 8.44 pm for Glasgow.

With trains travelling south from Lockerbie at 9.04 pm and 9.12 pm, he believes the opening hours should be extended until at least 9.15 pm, not cut.

Colin Smyth said: “As usual passengers from Lockerbie are being treated as second class.

“Routes have been slashed, fares hiked and now we see plans to cut opening hours for the waiting room and ticket office.

“Many passengers have to commute a distance to get to the station so often arrive well before the train. They will be met with a locked waiting room in all types of weather, hardly an incentive to use the train.

“A lot of passengers aren’t even aware this consultation took place. Many people are still working from home so not using the train at present. The first they will know about these changes could be when they are implemented and passengers turn up to a locked waiting room and ticket office.”

He added: “We simply do not know yet what passenger numbers will be in the future until we start to move froward from the pandemic, so this whole consultation is premature and should be scrapped.

“The fact false information is being used as part of the consultation renders it useless.”

ScotRail were contacted for comment.

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