East Lothian Scottish Labour candidate Iain Gray has hit out at the Transport Minister’s answer to a parliamentary question on rail services in the county.
Mr Gray, who as East Lothian MSP has been campaigning for action on overcrowding and ticketing problems for county commuters on the North Berwick line, secured the last ministerial question of the parliamentary session last Wednesday.
Mr Gray said:
“Unfortunately the Presiding Officer did not get to my question, which would have been the very last of the Parliament. However I received a written reply which has infuriated me. Not only does the Transport Minister tell constituents again that they will have to wait until 2018 for more seats, his answer on tickets will make commuters laugh out loud. He tells them to buy tickets before they get on the train. They would love to do that, except the ticket machines are constantly out of order. With the conductor unable to get through the passengers packed in like sardines, my constituents often end up queuing on the platform in Edinburgh to buy a ticket to get off the train, while they get later for work.
"This is just about as helpful as Scotrail’s ridiculous initiative to provide colour coded timetables so rail travellers would know which services are busy, as if they did not know already.
"This is the same Transport Minister who the week before announced thousands of additional seats on rail services, not one of which is for East Lothian. Again and again the SNP have left East Lothian standing when it comes to rail investment. SNP Ministers clearly know little of the problems local commuters face, and could care less.
"That is exactly why I have just sent him dozens of local people’s accounts of the problems they have, gathered in my #RailChange campaign.”