MP disappointed with railway commitment for Stranraer

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has claimed the region will see little major improvement to rail services following the news that the Scottish Government has awarded the ScotRail franchise to Dutch firm Abellio.

The MP is now seeking a meeting with the company to discuss the impact of the franchise on the region’s services.

A commitment has been made to introduce a two-hourly services from Stranraer.

However the politician says there will be fewer direct services to Glasgow, with passengers having to change in Ayr.

Mr Brown, along with Transport unions, including the RMT, TSSA and ASLEF also believes that the awarding of the contract should have been delayed until after the devolution of further transport powers to the Scottish Parliament, which would have allowed the Scottish Government to accept a non-profit bid.

Mr Brown said: “This was very much a missed opportunity for Scotland’s railways, and I’m really disappointed that the Scottish Government did not wait until they could have chosen a not for profit option.

“There are a small number of positives from the franchise but it’s clear that as far as Dumfries and Galloway is concerned, the company is proposing what was the bare minimum required to meet the franchise criteria.

“Hopefully, we will now see the long awaited Community Rail partnership being taken forward which is positive for the Stranraer to Ayr line. And the introduction of two-hourly services is an improvement but comes at the loss of direct service to Glasgow.

“This was very much a missed opportunity for Scotland’s railways.”