South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Connectivity and Transport Colin Smyth has called on Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to intervene over the current disruption to rail services from Ayr station.

The call comes after South Ayrshire council last week stated that inspections of the former Ayr Station Hotel had now deemed that the roof is in a more dangerous condition than had been anticipated. The additional work that will be required is likely to extend the time needed to secure the safety of the building, prompting a continuation of the current disruption to rail services, which currently includes no southbound services between Ayr and Stranraer.

Colin Smyth wants the Transport Secretary to step in to insist that a temporary station is opened to allow a reinstatement of some services while work continues at Ayr Station, with one option being the ScotRail depot off Carrick Road, just south of Ayr Station (known as the Townhead Depot).

Colin Smyth said, “Hard pressed passengers have been patient and put up with the far from ideal replacement bus services to and from Stranraer and the reduced capacity from Ayr to Glasgow. However, that patience is being tested by the news that there is likely to be further delays to work at Ayr station and they are no further forward in fully reinstating services. The fact there are no services whatsoever south of Ayr is just not acceptable and we need urgent action. That’s why I’ve written to Transport Secretary Michael Matheson and called on him to personally intervene on the matter to get rail services moving. In particular he must insist that efforts to set up a temporary station, possibly at the ScotRail depot off Carrick Road in Ayr, should be speeded up. A temporary station would allow services to start running south of Ayr once again. It is a model that was used in the north of England when flooding hit communities such as Workington back in 2009 and every effort should be made to put in place such a solution for passengers in Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway being hit so badly by this disruption.”

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