Moray SNP News
Richard Lochhead MSP has sought assurances from the Managing Director of ScotRail that sufficient replacement buses will be in place for commuters travelling to Aberdeen during the planned temporary closure of the line between Dyce and Aberdeen between 12th May and 20th August.
Mr Lochhead has asked Scotrail to ensure that rail passengers from Moray who travel to work in Aberdeen will be able to rely on replacement bus services, with sufficient capacity at peak times.
The MSP has questioned Scotrail’s rationale behind the works being carried out during the summer months, when there will be greater numbers of tourists travelling on the route.
Richard Lochhead has also suggested additional carriages on services going to Inverness during the closure, to give passengers travelling to the central belt more options to travel via Inverness to avoid disruption.
Mr Lochhead's letter to Scotrail’s Managing Director comes ahead of a public meeting he is holding with him on Monday 30th April to discuss local rail services. The meeting will take place in Elgin Town Hall at 7.30pm.
Commenting, Mr Lochhead said:
"The Scottish Government's investment of £170m to improve the rail line between Aberdeen and Inverness, including the £80m being spent in Moray, is hugely welcome and will be a massive boost to the area’s economy.
"With works of this scale some disruption in inevitable, however many rail users including folk from Moray who commute by train to Aberdeen every day will be concerned about the inconvenience of the planned closure over such a lengthy period.
“Disruption on the line during the summer months will inevitably impact visitors to the area, and those local businesses who rely on tourism will no doubt want to know what consideration ScotRail has given this.
“Scotrail should give passengers assurances that arrangements will be sufficient to cope with demand, and will allow people to travel between Aberdeen and Moray as smoothly as possible.
"I've asked that Scotrail look at the possibility of adding extra coaches to the services travelling to Inverness as I expect many rail users looking to get to the central belt will likely choose to go via Inverness to avoid the disruption, and it is important that any anticipated increase in passenger numbers on those journeys is responded to by ScotRail.
"Of course this all comes ahead of my public meeting with the Managing Director of Scotrail to discuss local rail services and I'd encourage constituents with an interest in these issues to come along to have their views heard."