ScotRail’s under-fire boss has vowed to visit Aberdeen to address a rising tide of complaints, following another day of chaos for customers in the north-east.
Rail users have put up with a litany of failings over the past several weeks, with the organisation admitting that the service has not been up to scratch amid a string of delays and cancellations.
Commuters were again left frustrated yesterday when signal faults at Aberdeen threw journeys north and south from the station into turmoil all morning.
As a result of the problems, one train which had no heating on board was forced to linger on the line at Duthie Park in Aberdeen for a spell, while customers lashed out about being stuck in the chilly carriages.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
One annoyed customer posted on social media that they were “stuck on a train outside Aberdeen with no heating and freezing” at 8.21am.
Engineers were dispatched to resolve the issue half an hour later.
Amid the increasing unhappiness, Scotrail confirmed that its managing director had pencilled in plans to visit the north-east “at a suitable time”.
The pledge came following a meeting with Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald earlier this week, during which Mr McDonald laid bare the scale of the problems blighting the region.
Mr Hynes said: “It has been a challenging time for Scotland’s railway recently, and we’re sorry to customers who have experienced disruption to their journey.
“Everyone at the ScotRail Alliance is working flat out to provide customers with the service they deserve.”
Last week, services between Aberdeen and Inverness were cancelled due to staff shortages and Mr Hynes apologised for the “unacceptable service” over the festive period.
North East MSP, Liam Kerr, last night requested that Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, also visit in person following the latest morning of misery for commuters.
The Conservative politician said: “With temperatures below zero in the north-east, the timing of this couldn’t be worse.
“Travellers will feel thoroughly frustrated at yet another day of disruption on the trains.
“ScotRail really needs to get a grip on this – as does the SNP Transport Secretary.
“I invite Michael Matheson to come to the north-east to understand what is happening on the ground.
“It is high time we started to see some real improvement.”
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “In general terms, ScotRail’s performance, in terms of cancellations and reliability, over the last 12 months hasn’t been good enough.
“That’s undeniable and why we took the serious contractual step of issuing a remedial plan notice, and we now expect to see improvements.
“We continue to press the ScotRail Alliance throughout this period of colder weather to ensure a better state of readiness.”