Rail Services (Milngavie)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government what recent meetings it has had with ScotRail and Network Rail regarding the efficiency of services using Milngavie station. (S5O-03080)

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

I last met the managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, Alex Hynes, in January and expect to meet him again on 24 April 2019. We will discuss a range of issues, including ScotRail’s performance across the network. My officials at Transport Scotland meet monthly with Network Rail and ScotRail to discuss performance issues and improvement initiatives.

Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

The cabinet secretary will be aware of the extremely poor performance record of services to Milngavie, which were the worst rated in Scotland. Have the works that were progressed to make improvements to those services been completed? What is the outcome?

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

I can confirm that the ScotRail Alliance implemented the recommendations of the Donovan report for Milngavie services, which has resulted in a significant improvement—17.5 per cent—in right-time departures at Milngavie. Recommendations included timetable changes, platform extension work, and additional train and crew to allow services from Milngavie to depart on time. Those recommendations were delivered, along with similar ones in the Strathclyde area, which has led to performance improvement in the wider Strathclyde network.

I can confirm to the member that more work is under way to implement further timetable changes to sustain that improvement.

Photo of Jamie Greene Jamie Greene Conservative

The cabinet secretary might be aware of the suggestion that dualling the track between Milngavie station and Hyndland might improve some of the blockages on that line. Has the Government given any consideration to that as a viable or worthwhile concept and, if so, can the cabinet secretary outline the next steps and a timescale for doing so?

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

Network Rail is presently assessing what further actions it can take on the line to improve performance. That includes looking at how it can enhance existing infrastructure arrangements on the line. Network Rail will report in due course on that issue.