Local representatives are hearing back from Scot Rail after they contacted them with their concerns over a lack of service in the timetable in Blair Atholl.
Murdo Fraser, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, and John Duff, Highland Ward councillor, wrote to the managing director of Scot Rail, Alex Hynes, with their concerns.
They asked for Scot Rail to ‘to review its “poor” service for passengers at Blair Atholl’ and now they’ve been told that ‘a planned improved timetable at Blair Atholl will not take effect until December.’
Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “We very much welcome the response from ScotRail who acknowledge that taking certain services away from Blair Atholl had a great impact for passengers and have apologised for this, but it is very disappointing to find out that this change won’t happen until December – in the winter season.
“ScotRail have said that this delay is mainly due to ‘large single sections’ of the line there, combined with increased freight services, but I’m sure local rail passengers at Blair Atholl will feel bitterly disappointed at having to wait another four months to see any notable improvement in the rail services at the station.
“Rest assured, we will keep putting the pressure on ScotRail to see if there is any way they can introduce the improve timetable in a faster manner.”
Scot Rail indicated that Blair Atholl is one of many stations across Scotland which they are aiming to resume with new timetables as Scotland moves out of the pandemic.
A ScotRail spokesperson said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how people travel across all of Scotland. We are in the process of designing new timetables to accommodate future levels of passenger demand whilst providing the taxpayer with best value for money.
“As part of this work we will look to provide Blair Atholl and the other stations on the Highland Main Line with a better distribution of services across the day.”
While Mr Duff is encouraged by the progress in bringing more services back to the station, he is concerned about the delay in bringing more trains to Blair Atholl.
And Councillor Duff added: “I’m pleased that ScotRail has listened to our concerns about the current level of service and have thanked Mr Fraser and myself for bringing this issue to their attention. However, I am not happy with any delay in rolling out an improved timetable.
“More and more local residents are going back to work now, some wish to visit Perth on an outing and others want to travel further afield, but they are still constrained by the poor service available at Blair Atholl.
“Residents are always being encouraged to use public transport, but this move will hardly do that. ScotRail need to find a way to introduce an improved timetable at Blair Atholl as soon as possible – they owe it to local residents.”
Residents can have their say on the issue on: https://scotrail.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3KwfSqA3x27QKRU