South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson for Rural Economy, Connectivity and Transport Colin Smyth has launched a petition calling for better rail services from Lockerbie Station and right across Dumfries and Galloway.
Speaking at Lockerbie Station during the campaign launch, alongside campaigners and users of the rail service, Mr Smyth said that local rail passengers ‘have been treated as second class for far too long’.
Colin’s campaign for Lockerbie Station is calling for:
MORE SERVICES - including a direct early morning train from Lockerbie to Edinburgh, an end to the three-hour gap when there are no trains north from Lockerbie during weekdays, and more services at the weekend.
FAIRER FARES - ensuring that passengers from Lockerbie Station get the same discount deals available to other commuters in Scotland.
BETTER PARKING - with more car parking spaces at Lockerbie Station.
The station is the sole direct link between the region and the Scottish capital Edinburgh, highlighting its importance to the local economy.
The campaign also aims to highlight the need for improved railway services right across the region. The petition demands fairer fares on services on the Nith Valley line where passengers in Upper Nithsdale pay more per mile on trains to and from Glasgow than passengers a few miles away in Ayrshire.
Colin, who is also chairperson of the campaign to re-open Eastriggs Railway Station also backs plans to re-open Thornhill and Beattock Railway Station as well as extend the Borders Rail-line through Langholm to Carlisle.
Colin was also at the forefront of fighting attempts to cut direct rails services from Stranraer railway station.
Colin Smyth MSP said, “Rail passengers in our region have been treated as second class for far too long, as prices continue to rise, trains become more crowded and delays become simply part of travelling. The failed UK Government franchise deal with rail companies means more trains pass through Lockerbie station without stopping than actually stop. This means not only are there not enough services from Lockerbie, but when they do run they are often overcrowded. It is incredible that our main link between Lockerbie and Edinburgh doesn’t even have a direct service to our capital that arrives before 9am.
“Enough is enough. We need to force the UK Government to reform the current cross country franchise and ensure the new West Coast Mainline franchise places a clear need for rail companies to increase services from Lockerbie”.
“We need to ensure the Scottish Government intervene to end the rip-off rail fares which currently mean passengers from Lockerbie don’t benefit from the same deals commuters in other parts of Scotland benefit from”.
“The rail industry and government also need to come together to fund improved car parking at Lockerbie Station and a more joined up bus service, so more people chose to travel from the station”
“But it’s not just in Lockerbie we need better services. Whether it is ending the fact Scotrail charge passengers more per mile for a journey on the Nith Valley line than passengers just a few miles north or securing direct services from Stranraer to Glasgow, the need for improvements to rail services stretch across Dumfries and Galloway. That includes stepping up the campaign to ensure that the Borders rail link is extended in the long run to Carlisle through Langholm to help boost the economy in the esk valley”
“That is why I have launched this petition in order to put forward plans which if implemented would lead to major improvements in rail services for our region”
“I would urge anyone who is angry with the poor service they get in the area to sign my petition and help me fight for better services”.
Go to: www.colinsmythmsp.com to sign up today.
The petition can be found here: