At a recent Transport Action Kincardineshire (TRAK) meeting the requirement to change trains at Montrose for connections to and from the South for travellers from Stonehaven Laurencekirk and Portlethen was on the agenda.
I was able to tell of a journey endured by my wife and myself on a “Club 50” return trip from Edinburgh. The nominated train was scheduled to arrive at Montrose at 9:30 p.m. and the connecting train to depart at 10.13 pm, a wait of 43 minutes. On leaving Edinburgh the ticket inspector informed us that we would be “catching the train behind”. We checked on my mobile phone and discovered the connecting train at Montrose had been cancelled and that we were facing a wait of over 11/4 hours. Fortunately we realised we could change at Dundee and spent the time in the large unheated station building. If we had been travelling to Laurencekirk or Portlethen changing at Dundee would not have been an option.
The waiting room at Montrose station closes at 9 pm and after that time the only shelter is an unheated open construction. There is also no access to toilets. On the evening in question the air temperature was 4 centigrade and it could have been as low as -4 or less. The average overnight-low temperature for Montrose in January is 1.3 C.
The TRAK meeting noted that Scotrail had made Montrose an interchange and it was their responsibility to ensure the station’s facilities are adequate. It was agreed that forcing passengers to change trains at a station and endure very cold conditions is “inhuman” and a significant threat to people’s health. TRAK will therefore continue to campaign to ensure heated waiting facilities, with access to toilets, are made available at Montrose during all passenger train services.
If increased use of public transport is to be seen as a realistic means of combating climate change, it is essential public transport journeys are made comfortable.
Transport Action Kincardineshire