Improvements are on track says MSP

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Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison met with senior management of Abellio to discuss train services in Broughty Ferry.

The MSP set up the meeting to discuss local service improvements ahead of the company taking over the running of Scotland’s rail services in April.

Commenting after the meeting, Shona Robison said: “The meeting was very useful and I was reassured that there will be continuing dialogue on train services once the new franchisee takes over and that the new services will be subject to yearly operational reviews and will be responsive to public demand.

“Although there are still several months before Abellio actually take over, the impression I have is that the new team are keen to work with key partners, with the variety of rail and public transport interest groups that have a keen interest in ensuring the provision of quality services that will lead to improved passenger numbers and greater train use.

“Making trains stop more often at places like Broughty Ferry has led to a seven-fold increase in numbers of people using the train, from 5,000 per year to 35,000 over the past 12 months so it is clear that making trains available at good times leads to better train use.

“Abellio confirmed that they have met several times with TACtran, the regional transport partnership, and presented to their most recent board meeting.

“This continuing engagement from Abellio will ensure that the expected increased demand for train services to and from the city that will arise because of increasing numbers of tourists coming for sporting events, such as The Open and golf tournaments are sufficiently addressed.

“I was also pleased to hear of their plans to improve the train onboard environment and ensure all trains have fast wi-fi. They also plan to improve signage, both physical and online, drawing on Abellio’s excellent Dutch rail experience. We look forward to working with the Abellio team to improve rail services once they take over.”