Transport Minister set to explore re-twinning Milngavie railway, Rona confirms

Transport Minister set to explore re-twinning Milngavie railway, Rona confirms

THE MINISTER for Transport agreed to explore MSP Rona Mackay’s call to re-twin the Westerton to Milngavie railway line.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden asked Humza Yousaf during a portfolio questions session in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday November 9.

She highlighted the line was the worst performer in Scotland in the last year, and that trains are regularly skipping stations.

The main cause of that disruption is the single track. A twinned track, as formerly existed, would ease disruption and allow the rail halt that has been proposed by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Ms Mackay said: “This is massive progress, to have the Minister for Transport on board with investigating the potential re-twinning of the Westerton-Milngavie line.

“I was glad to get the opportunity to put this to the minister, because constituents of mine and Gil Paterson’s have had enough of these delays and skip-stopping.

“Gil and I will be pushing for this line to be re-twinned and then for the proposed rail halt at Allander to be built. It is a simple solution to solving these massive problems on the line.”

ENDS

FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM PORTFOLIO QUESTIONS ON NOVEMBER 8 2017 IN SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT. VIDEO LINK.

Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP):
The data for the past 12 months shows that the Westerton to Milngavie line in my and Gil Paterson’s constituency was listed as the worst performer, with trains regularly using the practice of skipping stations, and only 26 per cent arriving on time. The main cause of that disruption is the single track. A twinned track, as formerly existed, would ease disruption and allow the rail halt that has been proposed by East Dunbartonshire Council. Can the minister confirm that that possibility will be investigated with Network Rail with some urgency?

Humza Yousaf:
Yes. We will explore that, but I want to put some context around what Rona Mackay said

The Presiding Officer:
Do so very briefly, minister.

Humza Yousaf:
Although ScotRail reports the on-time performance, the industry standard is the public performance measure, which offers a more balanced approach.

On skip-stopping, I understand the frustration of Rona Mackay’s constituents. We have said to ScotRail on many occasions that it should look to minimise that practice. In fairness, it has been trying to do that during peak times; in the past 12 months, 1 per cent of trains skipped stops. That 1 per cent is still 1 per cent too much.

I will explore the measures that the member asked us to explore and I will give her an update on how the discussions go.

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