Edinburgh trains: East Lothian services 'so overcrowded that passengers can't get on'

Labour MSP Martin Whitfield calls for 'robust and reliable' train service
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Trains taking commuters from East Lothian to Edinburgh are so overcrowded that by the time they reach Musselburgh no more passengers can get on, the Scottish Parliament has been told.

South Scotland Labour MSP Martin Whitfield raised the plight of travellers on rush-hour trains into the Capital at First Minister's Questions, calling on Humza Yousaf to give an assurance of a "robust and reliable" rail service.

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Mr Whitfield said: "This week, rail commuters travelling between East Lothian and Edinburgh experienced the consequences of Scottish National Party mismanagement, with a reduction in carriage numbers on the trains during the busy morning commute and overcrowding."

And he quoted one commuter, Gregor Millar, saying: “It’s uncomfortable, you have to stand and it becomes hard to hold onto anything. When I get on at Prestonpans you have to stand, when it gets to Wallyford people are just squeezing on, and at Musselburgh people can’t get on.”

Commuters from East Lothian into Edinburgh have faced serious overcrowding, according to Labour MSP Martin WhitfieldCommuters from East Lothian into Edinburgh have faced serious overcrowding, according to Labour MSP Martin Whitfield
Commuters from East Lothian into Edinburgh have faced serious overcrowding, according to Labour MSP Martin Whitfield

Mr Whitfield continued: "Given those ongoing issues, what assurances can the First Minister offer to Gregor Millar and other constituents that commuters who travel between East Lothian and Edinburgh can depend on a robust and reliable train service?"

Mr Yousaf replied: "I do not at all minimise the impact that rail disruption can have on constituents and their everyday lives, when they are going to work and attending their educational establishments. I say to Martin Whitfield’s constituent that we are investing in our rail services.

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"We have invested in our rail infrastructure, in new rail lines on the Borders railway, in new railway stations throughout the country, and in making our railways more affordable by, for example, introducing a pilot that abolished peak fares.

"I say to Martin Whitfield that we are, of course, apologetic for any disruption that has been caused on our rail infrastructure, and I am more than happy to ensure that the appropriate minister writes to him with the details of the investments that we are making not just between East Lothian and Edinburgh but throughout the country."