Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




At a meeting with the Managing Director of Abellio Scotrail, Alex Hynes, Richard Lochhead MSP asked for a report to be produced outlining plans to improve rail services for Moray passengers.

Mr Lochhead met with Alex Hynes in Parliament to discuss local rail issues that have been raised with him by constituents, including the reliability of services, overcrowding on trains, and the ticket pricing structure. 

Alex Hynes committed to producing a report for the MSP to share with local rail users which detail the steps ScotRail is taking to improve rail services on the Aberdeen to Inverness line, and to ensure there are better connections from the north to the central belt. 

The ScotRail boss also agreed to return to Moray over the summer to meet with local rail users. 

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“There’s been significant investment in our local rail infrastructure from the Scottish Government, however there have been issues with the level of service being delivered by ScotRail in recent months, and many would say they’ve not felt the benefit of that investment.   

“During our meeting ScotRail’s Managing Director acknowledged that the company’s performance hadn’t been good enough and explained that in terms of cancellations and delays, things have improved since the Scottish Government intervened at the end of last year. 

“I conveyed to Alex Hynes the real frustrations rail users in Moray have with our local services, particularly around overcrowding and there not being enough carriages put on for busy services.  He explained that one of the key challenges ScotRail face is the lack of available diesel trains across the UK – which seems to be a legacy issue from when the previous Labour UK Government made a move to away from diesel trains, without consideration for areas like Moray where we don’t have the infrastructure to support electric trains.  

“However, the fact is that the number of people using the train on the Aberdeen to Inverness line is increasing and there’s clearly demand for services, so we need ScotRail to respond to that by delivering on its plan to increase its rolling stock, so they can ensure there are enough seats for passengers. 

“ScotRail have taken away the list of cases and complaints that I raised with them and have agreed to come back with a detailed report addressing those issues and outlining what steps are being taken to improve services for passengers in Moray.

“Alex has also agreed to come back to Moray later in the summer to meet with local rail users, which I think will be welcomed by those who have been in touch with me.  It’s clear that folk are frustrated and want to see improvements quickly so I think it will be useful for Moray passengers to have the opportunity to put their concerns directly to the Managing Director.”