Anger as rail fares rocket

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A RAIL fare promotion which came to an end at the weekend has seen the cost of tickets from Stranraer more than double.

And local MP Russell Brown has accused the SNP of letting Stranraer down by not continuing the promotion and failing to secure a leader for the Stranraer Task Force.

Alex Neil had chaired the Government’s Stranraer Task Force since it was set up earlier this year, and it had been assumed that Nicola Sturgeon would be the new chair when she replaced him at Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment. However, she is yet to clarify her position.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “This week rail prices to and from Stranraer station more than doubled as the promotional fare came to an end.

“The Scottish Government’s Stranraer Task Force, launched with such fanfare just a few months ago, is now leaderless because Nicola Sturgeon can’t make up her mind about whether she wants to chair it or not.

“It seems clear to me that our area is being treated as an afterthought by the SNP. This is a shameful way to treat our area and we urgently need to start getting some straight answers.

“The Scottish Government’s silence on the future of the Task Force and train fares from the station is letting Stranraer down.”

The promotional fare between August 4 and September 30 this year offered travel between Glasgow Central or Paisley Gilmour Street to Stranraer for £15 return or between Ayr/Maybole/Girvan or Barrhill to Stranraer for £7.50 return.

The Scottish Government announced the reduced fare in May following a Scottish Government Stranraer Waterfront Task Force meeting held at the North West Castle Hotel.

Businesses in the town were urged to take advantage of the promotion to boost visitor numbers to the area.

At that time there were also calls to integrate the rail services between Stranraer and Glasgow with the ferry services into Cairnryan and for serious thought to be given to speeding up the service between Ayr and Glasgow to boost the economy in the south west.