New timetable sees late Girvan start

SCOTRAIL’S new timetable has received a lukewarm reception despite seeing an increase in services to Carrick.

Services to and from Girvan and Maybole will increase from 12 to 15, but there won’t be a service to get people into work before 9am.

The new timetable will be introduced on Wednesday, December 7 before the new Stena ferry terminal opens at Cairnryan.

There has been upset that ferry passengers will be bussed to Ayr to catch connecting trains instead of the short journey into Stranraer.

Speaking at a Girvan Community Council meeting last week, Richard Carr of the Stranraer to Ayr Line Support Association questioned if the increased service would be of any benefit at all to rail users.

Describing the changes, Richard said: “In a nutshell, train journeys going up from 12 to 15 to Girvan. Positive aspects will be there is a seven minutes past seven train to Ayr - a time that people want to travel.

However, there will not be a train bringing people to work in Girvan at a decent time, it is either seven or nine in the morning, nothing in between. I find that absolutely shocking. The 8am service from Ayr to Girvan is gone.”

Richard also spoke about potential problems that Carrick rail users might face at Ayr station as more trains will depart from platform number four.

He continued: “Ayr’s station is the largest station in the country without a lift, which is no use for disabled passengers who have to get to platform four from the main entrance, they will have to go round the outside to get to that platform.

“There is an increase in the use of platform four at Ayr. More trains to Girvan will be leaving from platform four now.”

SAYSLA has been campaigning for the train to Stranraer to remain as the main link to the new ferry terminal at Cairnryan, rather than Ayr.

He said: “Stranraer area politicians are now waking up to the fact there is no longer a bus back to town from the ferry port. This is where the timetable needs looked at. People are unhappy with the service now. What we are proposing to look at is connecting Stranraer with the ferries. We are saying lets run the train not just to Glasgow but to Edinburgh. Let’s be positive.

“Girvan needed major upgrade work to be done for it to be the bus terminal for the ferry, so Ayr was chosen. It was argued that by bussing people to Ayr then they would always be travelling forward and not going backwards first.”

The group was involved in a survey of rail users to find out why they used the train to Girvan and also their plans to produce a timetable for bus users in the area.

Richard revealed: “Girvan is the busiest station on the line in the area. The key reasons people use the line is to visit family and friends in the area. The majority of people from Maybole and Girvan travel to Ayr. Interestingly, the majority of Barrhill and Stranraer passenger usage was for work to Glasgow.

“Last year you may recall we produced some timetables and we would like to do the same with the buses. 25 per cent of people don’t know of the timetable change at all.”