Jim Hume MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat member for South Scotland, has today said that the Scottish Government is not moving quickly enough on overcrowding problems on the new Borders rail link.
The MSP challenged Transport Secretary during today’s Question Time in the Scottish Parliament following the cancellation of services due to overcrowding earlier this month.
Mr Hume also took the chance to ask the Minister to commit to a feasibility study into extending the line to Carlisle.
Mr Hume said:
“Liberal Democrats delivered the legislation that underpinned this fantastic infrastructure project as part of the Lib-Lab coalition government in 2006, so for the Transport Secretary to imply that the line has somehow magically appeared because of the SNP is frankly nonsense.
“Borderers have waited a long time to use the rail link and before it was opened there were early indications from a number of sources that footfall would be immense. Yet still we have a disparity between demand and capacity with services cancelled as a result.
“The last thing we need is for passengers to choose to revert to the car because they’re put off being squeezed into carriages like sardines.
“The SNP need to address this capacity shortfall as a matter of urgency.
“Additionally, we hear the SNP waxing lyrical about extending the line to Carlisle, but so far no firm commitment has been made to get a feasibility study underway. The SNP’s ‘wait and see’ approach will not help communities across the Borders, and I want to see real engagement with stakeholders on this next stage of the link.”