Call to reinstate trains on 'vital' circle route to pre-pandemic levels

Glasgow councillors have urged ScotRail to restore services on the Cathcart Circle lines.

ScotRail urged reinstate trains on ‘vital’ Cathcart Circle route to pre-pandemic levels iStock

ScotRail is being urged to reinstate trains on the “vital” Cathcart Circle lines to pre-pandemic levels to help people travelling in and out of the city centre.

Glasgow Labour councillors Catherine Vallis and John Carson want the publicly-owned train firm to restore services on the circular lines as well as the Newton and Neilston lines.

Their call comes after ScotRail announced timetable changes in December will nearly double the number of services calling at Langside, Pollokshaws East, Shawlands, Maxwell Park and Pollokshields West.

The Labour pair, who represent the Linn ward which includes parts of Cathcart, King’s Park and Muirend, believe the train operator must go further.

Cllr Vallis said: “The service is a lot sparser than it was before the pandemic. It doesn’t run nearly as much in the evenings, and also it tends to end earlier too, which causes problems for people who want to get to and from the city centre from Cathcart.”

David Simpson, ScotRail service delivery director, said the recently-announced changes are “another step in our ongoing commitment to deliver the best service we can”.

In a social media video, Cllr Vallis said two community councils, Cathcart & District and Simshill & Old Cathcart, have received “widespread support” for all services to be restored.

Cllr Carson said the “vital” service helps “local people whether they are working, whether they are going to see friends and family or whether they are enjoying the hospitality within the city centre”.

He added services are busier because there are “so few” and “that reduces the quality”.

“What we want to see is a reliable, effective and good quality railway service, serving the people within Linn ward and Cathcart.

“When we look at the climate crisis affecting the world, we want people to move to more sustainable forms of transport and a reliable service is absolutely one of them.”

ScotRail announced it would be making changes from December 10 which will see an hourly service operate on the Cathcart Circle throughout the day, Monday to Saturday.

The firm said the move will provide passengers in south Glasgow with more options and flexibility. The timetable also sees the continuation of two trains per hour between Glasgow Central and Neilston during the day and one train per hour in the evening.

There will be two trains per hour between Glasgow Central and Newton during the day and one train per hour in the evening, operating via Maxwell Park.

Mr Simpson, from ScotRail, said: “Our December timetable change represents another step in our ongoing commitment to deliver the best service we can, and encourage more people to choose rail travel, instead of using the car, particularly during our off-peak all day fares trial.

“ScotRail is dedicated to making Scotland’s Railway more accessible and efficient, and the improvements we’re making in our new timetable are an important part of that.”

It is understood ScotRail will monitor how passengers respond to the December changes, and more services could be introduced if there is demand.

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