Revealed: 1 in 7 Borders Railway services axed or cancelled

COMMUTERS travelling on the Borders Railway have been forced to put up with one in seven trains being cancelled or delayed since the service opened two years ago, new '¨figures reveal.
The Borders railway reopened in September 2015.  Picture: Ian RutherfordThe Borders railway reopened in September 2015.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
The Borders railway reopened in September 2015. Picture: Ian Rutherford

A Freedom of Information request from Scottish Conservatives found that since the route opened in September 2015, almost 1,200 trains have been cancelled and more than 4,000 journeys delayed by at least five minutes.

The statistics shows that between September 6 2015, and August 14 this year 1,182 trains have been cancelled or partially cancelled. An additional 4,099 journeys were delayed by more than five minutes of their scheduled arrival time.

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Rachel Hamilton, Scottish Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, said: “Since its reopening, the Borders Railway has become an important, valued and much-loved mode of transport. Overall it has been a success.

“I want to see these incidences of cancelled and delayed trains become less frequent and for the Borders line to become a constant highlight of people’s visit or commute to and from the Borders.”

Passengers have spoken out about their frustration with the service.

Angela Hughes, 39, said: “A lot of people have moved down from Edinburgh because they can commute now and it’s a cheaper way of living here.

“But the trains aren’t reliable as they said they would be and can’t cope with the demand. It causes a lot of problems.”

Commuter Mark Hirst uses the line daily and experienced problems.

He said: “There was no platform announcement and the signage indicated only that there was an issue with an earlier service. No train appeared. Only by checking social media did I realise it was cancelled.”

He added: “There were regular cancellations at the start of the year. The underlying problem is the old rolling stock they have on that service. Much of the older trains are dirty, smell strongly of human urine and in summertime very hot and in winter very cold.”

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A spokeswoman from ScotRail said: “We know that delays and cancellations are incredibly frustrating for our customers, and we are working hard to deliver an ever better rail service for the Borders.

“Customers delayed 30 minutes or more, regardless of cause, are entitled to compensation through our Delay Repay scheme. Anyone affected should keep hold of their tickets, and make a claim.”