Publised date : 01 Sep 2021

Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, Perth and North Perthshire MP, Mr Pete Wishart, and Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP, Mr Jim Fairlie have submitted their views to Scotrail’s consultation on proposed timetable changes.

The proposed changes would mean that passengers travelling from Perth to Edinburgh will be forced to swap trains at Stirling, or travel around the Fife circle – a route that would add approximately 20 minutes on to an already lengthy journey. 

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“My office has been contacted by numerous constituents, who have all expressed concern over the potential erosion of services by Scotrail.

“These proposed changes will negatively impact all rail users in Perth and the surrounding areas who travel to the Edinburgh. Whether they are travelling for work, to meet family or simply to visit the capital, the journeys of my constituents will be needlessly complicated or elongated. 

“I would urge Scotrail to reconsider these proposals and to reflect upon the level of opposition in the local community to these plans.”

Mr Wishart added:

“I am pleased to formally put on record my opposition to these proposals, which fly in the face of our country’s efforts to get more people using public transport.

“It is vital that the depth of feeling over these plans are made clear to Scotrail, and so I would encourage all of my constituents to take part in the consultation via”

“For my part, I will continue to campaign against these crazy changes and keep highlighting the real damage they will do to my constituents.”

Mr Fairlie added:

“Rail connections between Perth and Edinburgh have been difficult ever since the direct route was replaced half a century ago by the M90 motorway but, nevertheless, we should be expecting to see improvements, not be looking at timetable changes which make journey times even longer than they are now.

“Scotrail need to engage positively with myself and other elected members on these plans.  I want to discuss, in more detail, the services to be provided for smaller stations such as Gleneagles, and the prospects for the opening or re-opening of stations to better serve rural areas.

“There is no doubt that the rail operator will face challenges in attracting people back on to trains post-pandemic.  But making rail travel less efficient for passengers and less connective for communities is certainly not the way to do it.  I urge anyone with concerns about these changes to take part in the consultation and make their views heard.”

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