MSP SLAMS LATEST BLOW FOR LOCKERBIE STATION PASSENGERS AS TICKET COSTS SOAR

South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth has slammed the latest blow to hard-pressed rail passengers using Transpennine Express services from Lockerbie railway station- after the private rail firm announced plans for a near 40% fare hike.

 

Rail fares across the UK are set to go up by an average 2.7% from 2 January. However commuters travelling to work in Edinburgh from Lockerbie currently pay £20 for a day return. This will rise to a massive £27.50 in the new year for any passenger leaving Lockerbie to head for the capital in the morning.

Even the off-peak day return from Lockerbie, which won’t be available until the 12.25 pm train to Edinburgh, will rise by 5% to £21 for a day return.

The news comes at a time Lockerbie was revealed as the WORST station in Scotland for performance as a result of the failing Transpennine Express service- and the third worst in the whole of the UK with a ranking of 2,616 Out of 2,618, according to www.ontimetrains.co.uk.

Their analysis showed that most Transpennine services from Lockerbie are more likely to be cancelled than on time.

Of the 7 weekday Transpennine trains from Lockerbie to Edinburgh 4 services failed to turn up on time at all, 2 were on time on just 2% of occasions, with the best performing service on time for just 5% of journeys.

Likewise, of the 10 weekday Transpennine services from Lockerbie to Glasgow, 4 have not been on time at all over the last 12 weeks, while another 3 were on time less than 10% of occasions.

It was also revealed recently that Transpennine Express:

  • will axe the current busy 10.32 am service from Lockerbie to Edinburgh will be AXED for the next five months- despite the train from Manchester Airport to Edinburgh still passing through Lockerbie station.
  • passengers with mobility scooters have been told they will need to apply for a pass to take their scooter on new trains on a journey by journey basis for the foreseeable future rather than be able to apply for the current annual pass
  • passenger seat reservations have also been put on hold on services for the foreseeable future as the company change rolling stock on services.

Commenting on the latest news, Colin Smyth repeated his call for FirstGroup to be stripped of the Transpennine Express franchise. Colin Smyth said, “The performance of Transpennine Express simply goes from bad to abysmal. For the company to propose a near 40% price hike for anyone working in Edinburgh is a disgrace given that services are cancelled more often than they run on time. The fact the fare hike comes on the back of the axing of the 10.32 am service for the next five months means many passengers now have no choice but to get early morning trains so will have to fork out for this eye-watering fare increase. Passengers are rightly furious at this latest blow which will price many out of work at a time the service from Transpennine Express is appalling”.

“I have written to the company asking them to rethink this fare increase, but they know that the UK Government who regulate services on this route simply turn a blind eye to rail bosses exploiting passengers who rely on services from Lockerbie. This latest scandal backs up my call for First group to be stripped of the Transpennine Express franchise and for services to come under public control.”

 

Service

Current Fare

Proposed fare from 2 January 2020

Lockerbie- Edinburgh (day return) All-Day

£20

£27.50 (for all morning services from Lockerbie)

Lockerbie- Edinburgh (open return) from 10.32 am

£31.20

NO 10.32 AM SERVICE.

8.35 AM £39.90