Rumbles: CrossCountry disguising service cuts


Rail passengers in Aberdeen, Dundee and Fife have been warned that they face service cancellations and shorter trains from next year unless there is a last minute change of heart from rail operator CrossCountry.

Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles has warned passengers that they have only a few days to act in response to a consultation by CrossCountry which will see important services withdrawn with nothing timetabled to replace them. 

Mr Rumbles is angry that the CrossCountry consultation has confused people in the region by putting the killer question which triggers withdrawal of services to Aberdeen in a section labelled ‘improvements’. 

Mr Rumbles said: 

“CrossCountry trains need to think again about their plan to cut services.

“They are trying to disguise the harsh withdrawals of services for passengers in Aberdeen, Dundee and Fife. 

“Four trains between Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be axed by CrossCountry.

“But their consultation document disguises this by keeping the trains listed in the ‘proposed weekday service’ column even though they admit someone else will have to step in to run the trains.

“I am particularly disappointed by the trick used by CrossCountry which is to include a question about these cancellations under the heading ‘improvements’. People in the North East might not notice that the carriages will be moved to the Newcastle-Plymouth corridor and taken out of Scotland completely. 

“CrossCountry then insult passengers further by claiming that longer Scotrail trains will be able to take the strain.

“The Scottish Government has said that their new carriages will be used to reduce overcrowding on existing Scotrail trains not to compensate for the withdrawal of CrossCountry trains. 

“Passengers from Dundee and Fife will suffer further misery from CrossCountry when the 06.32 train from Dundee to Edinburgh will be shrunk from five carriages to four, even though there is only standing room available for Fife passengers.” 

Mike Rumbles has tabled a series of questions to the Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf to find out if any replacement services have been discussed for those being withdrawn by CrossCountry.

Mike Rumbles has also written to the chief executive of CrossCountry trains to complain about the misleading consultation document. He has asked for a fresh consultation to be issued to passengers in Aberdeen, Dundee and Fife to allow them to see properly the services that will be cut by CrossCountry.

Here's how Scottish Liberal Democrats spotted CrossCounty's dodgy disguising

Cross Country have explained the consultation process below:

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The apparent good news of daytime services to Aberdeen…

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…disguises harsh withdrawals of services for passengers in Aberdeen, Dundee and Fife.

Four trains between Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be axed by CrossCountry. Their document disguises this by keeping the trains listed on the “proposed weekday service” column even though they admit someone else will have to run the trains

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These trains include the 18.10 train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen which is usually completely full for its journey through Fife to Dundee.

The 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance service is usually completely full by Ladybank and Markinch heading south.

The 21.31 service is the last train through Dundee and Fife heading to Edinburgh.

No other operators have been lined up to take these over.

CrossCountry asked a question about these cancellations under the heading “improvements” when in fact the carriages will be moved to the Newcastle-Plymouth corridor and taken out of Scotland completely.

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Cross Country claim that longer Scotrail trains will be able to take the strain. 

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The Scottish Government has said these carriages will be used to reduce overcrowding on existing Scotrail trains not to compensate for the withdrawal of Cross Country trains.

Passengers from Dundee and Fife will be impacted when the 06.32 train from Dundee to Edinburgh will be shrunk from five carriages to four, even though there is only standing room available for Fife passengers.

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