Lothian MSP Gordon Lindhurst has criticised Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf for being out of touch with the concerns of rail passengers.
He did so following a parliamentary question in the Scottish Parliament, where he asked what is being done to offer a better passenger experience during the festive season and at peak times.
It follows exclusive stories within the Edinburgh Evening News in recent weeks which detail the experiences of rail passengers coming into Edinburgh, including passengers taking to social media within crowded carriages and stories of passengers fainting.
The Minister detailed investment in future services, such as the electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow line, but Lindhurst pressed Yousaf on what is being done to improve current services.
The Minister went on to comment that ScotRail is “doing what it can”, that an automated passenger counting system is being used to determine how busy services are, and that passengers understand that the festive season means more passengers using the train service.
Speaking afterwards and in reply to Yousaf’s comments, Gordon said:
“The answer from the Minister today signals just how out of touch this government is when it comes to enabling proper organisation and delivery of our public services.
“If he thinks that passengers understand and accept that they have to face daily discomfort on their journeys to Edinburgh, he is sadly mistaken.
“Passengers are fed up with this state of affairs. They pay good money to use the service and often end up facing traumatic experiences, never mind being unable to get a seat.
“Sadly the answers the Minister has given today do not fill me with confidence, but I will continue to press him to ensure the service improves urgently.”