Ayr Station upgrade needed

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Unions and politicians are joining forces to make the case for major improvements at Ayr Station.

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth and the RMT Trade Union regional organiser for Scotland, Mick Hogg, met with ScotRail at Ayr Station to see first hand the temporary arrangements in place since the full time-table resumed at Ayr Station. An exclusion zone is still in place around parts of the former Station Hotel which has affected the normal operation of Ayr Station.

The temporary arrangements mean that there is no shelter for passengers waiting for the Ayr to Glasgow service, nor is there shelter for passengers waiting on bus links to the ferry terminals at Cairnryan.

The exclusion zone also resulted in a number of offices and back room areas of the station being re-located into portable cabins, reducing the spaces available for staff to work from and for car parking and other transport links close to the station.

Mr Smyth said, “The problems associated with the former hotel are not going to go away, and there will need to be a long term plan to secure the building. It is essential that plans for the operation of the station are made that will last for the medium term and to improve conditions for passengers and staff. I am pleased that ScotRail and Network Rail have set a deadline for autumn to have much of the work completed.”

“However, it is essential that they work together to ensure that improvements are delivered as soon as possible and there is no delay to the vital work needed at Ayr Station.”

RMT Union reional organiser Mick Hogg said: “Our members and the travelling public should not be subjected to any health and safety risk as a result of this shambles at Ayr Station. The shambles has been created by the refusal of Network Rail and other stakeholders to take ownership of a building that was falling to bits.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that workers were and continue to work in an environment that is unsafe and not fit for purpose where employees’ welfare is threatened. The RMT trade union acknowledge that there has been some progress made, however, the health, safety and welfare concerns lie at the door or Network Rail and Scot Rail who are the primary stakeholders. RMT Union remain available for meaningful talks.”