Criticism of planned Scotrail cuts

South Scotland list MSP Colin Smyth has hit out at plans that could see services axed as part of moves by ScotRail to save £40m a year.

Less trains are planned to run between Stranraer and Girvan
Less trains are planned to run between Stranraer and Girvan

The proposals, which are being consulted on, are due to come into effect in May and would see 300 less weekday trains than before the pandemic.

ScotRail is planning a regular hourly service during the day between Dumfries and Carlisle, with a train every two hours in the evening, and a service every two hours between Glasgow and Dumfries for most of the day, with most services providing a through service to Carlisle.

This will result in fewer services per day between Glasgow and Dumfries with around eight services compared to the previous 10/11. Through services between Dumfries and Newcastle are also set to be discontinued.

On the Kilmarnock to Ayr and Stranraer service, it is proposed for seven trains per day from Kilmarnock to Ayr, six trains per day from Ayr to Kilmarnock, a train every one or two hours between Ayr and Girvan, and five trains per day in each direction between Girvan and Stranraer – less than the eight that existed prior to the pandemic.

Mr Smyth said: “It is concerning ScotRail is suggesting fewer services than we had prior to the pandemic. Once again rail passengers are being treated as second class.

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

“It’s ironic the first move of the new SNP/Greens coalition is to attack public transport and damage the environment by forcing more people to use cars.”