Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called on people across the south of Scotland to give their views on planned rail cuts.

Last week, ScotRail announced a raft of planned changes to the rail network across the south of Scotland, with many services either being cut or not going back to pre-pandemic levels (see notes below).

The changes are set to be introduced next year but the local MSP is asking as many people as possible to take part in ScotRail’s consultation in a bid to reverse the proposals. The consultation closes on 1 October 2021.

Colin Smyth has also tabled a question on the subject in the Scottish Parliament to be asked during Portfolio Question time in the chamber on Wednesday.

Colin Smyth said: “The planned cuts to our rail timetables are due to come into play in May 2022 but right now, they are not set in stone.

“That’s why I’m urging as many people as possible to reply to ScotRail’s consultation and give their views about how they would be affected by the changes.

“It is also important to remember that while a lot of people have been avoiding public transport during the pandemic, we simply do not know at this stage how many people will be commuting again come May next year.

These planned cuts will be the single biggest cut in rail services in the south of Scotland in living memory and really would undermine our journey to net-zero and efforts to urge people to get back on public transport.

“I’m demanding answers from the Scottish Government, which is why I have tabled a question in the Scottish Parliament on the subject this week.

 “We need to be making it as easy as possible for people to get back on to public transport – but cutting dozens of services a day will leave us with infrequent trains.

“Prior to the pandemic many services were already woeful but now it’s set to get worse.”

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