WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO DATE
The CRP is funded by ScotRail with smaller projects being wholly funded provided they are included in our Action Plan, with larger projects being subject to a special application with a matched funding requirement.
ScotRail service issues of which we are aware and are attempting to tackle:
- Reliability with train cancellations and late running. Delay repay awareness very poor indeed
- Overcrowding – cover efforts to introduce train from Dunbar stopping at Musselburgh and possibly Prestonpans and Wallyford to bridge gap in morning peak services from Dunbar.
- Increasingly irregular timetable – not clock face. This matter is in the hands of Transport Scotland following our representations on bus/rail connectivity – see below.
- Drem terminations. In order to minimise delays on services where a late running train has been terminated at Drem, and North Berwick passengers are left stranded at Drem having to wait for the next train, ScotRail have in the past terminated some trains at Drem. The CRP believes this is a highly dangerous (and immoral) practice as high speed trains will pass Drem (line speed limit 115mph at this point) and it is only a question of time before a tragedy occurs. ScotRail Alliance’s previous Managing Director, Phil Verster, agreed this was to stop immediately, but occasionally it still happens.
- Increasing use of diesel trains, with reduced capacity, during the day and resultant re-timing of some journeys
- Fare collection: failure to collect all fares especially from stations nearer Edinburgh. Aware that Revenue Protection Inspectors are often deployed at Waverley with queues to exit the station often resulting in 20 minute plus waits to exit the platform which results in the breaking of the statutory 14 minute advertised connection time at Waverley to enable onwards connections to be met – particularly important for those with Advance Tickets because it is the arrival of the train that is automatically recorded to enable a valid claim to be made, not platform exit time.The provision of faster, more reliable ticket vending machines (TVMs) on platforms would result in fewer passengers not being able to purchase a ticket before boarding.ScotRail figures produced at the AGM in September 2016 show that 15% of fares are uncollected, mainly in the off peak periods.
- Unreliability of escalators and lifts at Waverley: The CRP has raised the issue of failing escalators and lifts with Network Rail, the operator of Waverley station, and in particular the situation where both can be out of service at the same time at one access point. It is also the case that many failures are in fact the result of routine maintenance which in the CRP’s opinion should not be carried out during the day. Princes Street shops do not close down their escalators during the day for maintenance other than in an emergency.
To see the minutes of our meeting with ScotRail in October 2016 on a number of services issue and in particular capacity, please click here
Prestonpans mural restoration – £3700 – two year warranty
Our first project – due to the serious deterioration evident – was to restore the murals at Prestonpans station. This was completed in December 2014 and was subject to a two year warranty. Further restoration has been necessary and this commenced in late 2016 under the warranty.
To see the result of the restoration, please click here
Scotland Route Study
The CRP has made a formal representation to Network Rail regarding their initial plans for major expenditure in Control Period 6 (2019 – 2024), which include the quadrupling of track between Wallyford and Drem to enable a major increase in capacity on the line resulting in a significant increase in frequency of trains to both North Berwick and Dunbar, using 6 car units to replace 4 car units.
Line Guide leaflets
5000 produced for 2016 season – with 10,000 being printed for 2017. These are distributed to 29 stations throughout central Scotland from Dundee, Perth, Fife stations, Stirling, Glasgow and ran out towards the end of the 2016 season.
To see the 2016 line guide, please click here
To see the 2017 line guide, please click here
We secured 29 noticeboards on stations throughout Central Scotland for these to be put up.
To see the poster, please click here
New cycle stands at some stations
New cycle stands have been located at both Drem and North Berwick stations. With the probability of a new cycle path from Gullane to Drem, the additional capacity at Drem will prove useful and is in place before the new path is completed.
Without doubt the most difficult and complicated item to achieve due to the complexities of the rail timetable and the fact that East Lothian trains are subordinate to East Coast main line services, legislation affecting both rail and bus operations, the Equality Act (2010) all of which conspire to make a totally robust, disability compliant bus/rail connectivity facility very difficult to achieve. With the full support of East Lothian Council, the CRP is currently trying via the Scottish Parliament to make changes to bus legislation which would result in many of the problems being reduced and eliminated.
The CRP aspires to have bus/rail connectivity at North Berwick connecting with the current 120 Dunbar – North Berwick and 121 Haddington – North Berwick bus services. It is also supportive of East Coast Buses service 124 (Edinburgh – North Berwick) connecting with trains at Longniddry to provide robust connections to/from Aberlady and Gullane and trains at Longniddry.
In addition, there is considerable scope for connectivity at Dunbar but much work requires to be done in this regard. In December 2019, Trans-Pennine Express services will be extended hourly from Newcastle to Edinburgh via Berwick and we believe Dunbar and this piece of the jigsaw will need to be in place before changes to bus services in Dunbar are considered.
Submission to Traffic Commissioner Scotland
Notice boards at all East Lothian stations (to come)
The CRP has agreed in principle with ScotRail to have their own notice boards at each station capable of taking desk top published A4 notices of specific local relevance, including directions, and other items that will assist passengers.
Working with Living Streets regarding signage at all East Lothian stations
The CRP will undertake an audit on signage and access at all stations. This will involve station adopters, input from Living Streets, and members of the CRP Board and stakeholders.
Introduction on new website
Toilets at North Berwick station
The CRP is very aware that, apart from at Dunbar which is a staffed station, that current ScotRail policy is that at unstaffed stations will not have any platform based toilet facilities. This is proving particularly difficult for passengers who expect toilets to be provided at North Berwick where the station is situated away from the town centre. A special arrangement has been made with The Westgate Gallery (3 minute walk towards town centre) that rail passengers may use their toilets when they are open.
East Lothian Council have identified a location very close to the station where it is hoped that planning permission for toilet facilities will be granted. It is however understood that funding has still to be found.
Possibility of some entertainment on trains
The CRP, in line with some other areas, is investigating the possibility of some limited entertainment on trains during the Fringe by the Sea week at North Berwick and also the Dunbar Festival. This is at a very early stage of development.