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From rails to wheels; ScotRail unveil new alternative transport arrangements

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:33 GMT on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013.

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Rail users can get on First Buses for free during severe disruption. Picture is courtesy of Bill Henry.

RAIL users in Cumbernauld will soon be able to travel on First Bus services when issues affect train services in and out of Glasgow.

The new ScotRail scheme means that commuters will no longer have to wait on alternative transport, instead being able to present their rail tickets on board a First Bus services – at no extra cost.

Implementation of the scheme follows a small-scale trial earlier this year, when customers departing Glasgow’s Central and Queen Street stations were invited to exchange rail tickets for bus vouchers during severe disruption.

Under the new scheme, alternative travel will be available between more than 100 stations, in Glasgow, with a nearby First Glasgow bus service – with no need for vouchers.

Although only being initially rolled out in Glasgow, ScotRail has said that they are already investigating options for expanding it into other areas of Scotland.

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s Managing Director, said: “We have done a lot of work to limit disruption on Scotland’s railways and our punctuality score rose to record levels last year.

“However, we also understand the importance of limiting inconvenience when services unfortunately are disrupted – and this scheme will be of real benefit to our customers in and around Glasgow.

“It will be particularly useful during the morning rush hour, when sourcing replacement buses can be challenging as many bus operators provide school transport at that time.”

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Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Government welcomes any measure that makes public transport more attractive to passengers.

“This new arrangement will make the train experience more efficient and comfortable and it is good to see it being rolled out in Glasgow.”

Ronnie Park, First Glasgow managing director, said: "With around 950 buses operating more than 100 routes across Greater Glasgow we are well placed to get people where they need to go. This joined up approach with ScotRail will provide many of its customers with the reassurance that they will be able to use our buses during severe disruption on the railway."

He added: "With the recent introduction of our new network, simpliCITY, bus customers are benefitting from a significantly simplified and improved network with many routes operating buses every five minutes. We look forward to welcoming ScotRail customers on board."

The scheme will only be used during major disruption.

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