Rail chiefs agree to talks on Mearns services

Passengers at Stonehaven and Laurencekirk have complained about the timetable changes
Passengers at Stonehaven and Laurencekirk have complained about the timetable changes

Rail bosses have agreed to meet a local politician over controversial timetable changes affecting Mearns stations.

Since the start of the year, no trains to the Central Belt have stopped at Laurencekirk, and Stonehaven passengers have to change at Montrose if they want to travel on to Glasgow.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Conservative MP Andrew Bowie wrote to ScotRail managing director Alex Hynes in January, May and October asking for a response to the dissatisfaction felt by constituents.

ScotRail have replied to the latest letter: “Senior representatives from both ScotRail and Network Rail would be very happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns in more detail and for us to provide with you with the background to those changes.”

Mr Bowie is urging residents to have their say on the timetable changes ahead of the meeting.

He said: “Although it has taken a long time and a considerable amount of asking, I am pleased ScotRail will discuss the effects of the timetable changes with me.

“I already have a dossier of accounts from constituents and have shared some of those with Mr Hynes’ office.

“But it would be very useful for additional accounts of how these services are being used, whether they are putting people off making journeys, and whether the changes are bedding in.”

ScotRail said the creation of an interchange station at Montrose in December, 2018, allowed for more local services to operate at stations like Stonehaven and Laurencekirk, providing customers with more options for travel.