John Cooper, Scottish Conservative & Unionist candidate for Dumfries & Galloway, has called on ScotRail and Network Rail to do all they can to expedite the return of full rail services to Stranraer and Barrhill.
Writing to Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, Mr Cooper raised the significant impact the service disruption caused by September 2023’s Station Hotel fire in Ayr is having on those who rely on the service and particularly highlighted the impact on those who use it to, “to get to college, school or work in Ayr and beyond as well as those who use the service to get to hospital appointments in the Central Belt”.
He also highlighted concerns that have been raised with him as he has been door knocking across Wigtownshire that it appears that there is very little action to restore the service quickly south of Ayr noting that there were “very few alternatives” for those without access to a car.
Commenting on the continuing disruption, John Cooper said,
“As I’ve been knocking on doors across Stranraer and the wider Wigtownshire area, a number of local residents have told me of the negative impact that this disruption is having on their day to day lives.
This includes young people who use the train to access educational opportunities and those who use the train to get to work who are now facing longer journey times.
The Station Hotel Fire took place around five months ago now and I am concerned there does not appear to be urgent action being taken to restore the Stranraer to Ayr service with Scotrail’s own website saying they expect the disruption to last at least until late March.
I have urged railway bosses to look at what can be done to get this line back to normal service as soon as possible. It is not acceptable that this is being left to go on for months and months without a clear plan of action.
South West Scotland shouldn’t be left without one of its very few train services for months on end without any real end in sight – it’s not acceptable and I want to see railway bosses do all they can to normal service back to Stranraer and Barrhill stations as soon as possible”.