AN INVESTIGATION INTO improving rail services through Moray is expected to be the result of a packed Elgin Town Hall meeting last night.
ScotRail managing director Phil Verster negotiated Storm Henry to face Storm Moray as dozens of disgruntled passengers took the opportunity to vent their disappointment over services to the Abellio chief.
Overcrowded trains that are constantly late were at the forefront of complaints highlighted at a meeting chaired by Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead, who had arranged the public summit after receiving dozens of complaints from constituents over services on the Inverness to Aberdeen line.
“More people are using the trains now and I’m keen to encourage the interest in public transport,” the MSP said, adding: “Moray has distinctive issues compared to other parts of Scotland and there is nothing better than having ScotRail’s main man coming here to learn about them first hand.”
Mr Verster heard complaints in particular from early morning commuters between Moray and Aberdeen or Inverness, with one citing the 5.26am service to Aberdeen as the “sardine train” on which a lack of seats often made the 90-minute journey intolerable.
Mr Verster tried to calm fraying nerves by pointing up recently announced investment in rail services throughout Scotland and insisted that when things did go wrong he personally felt for customers and was not ignoring their plight.
He said: “There are a few actions I will take away from this meeting – it has been fantastic to get this feedback.”
Following the meeting Elgin resident and regular commuter Allan Reid told insideMoray: “It was a good meeting and you have to be fair to Mr Verster, he had the courage to face up to disgruntled passengers and seemed genuinely concerned.
“We can only hope that he now keeps to his word and we see some improvements on services, time will tell.”