Figures reveal one in six Borders Railway trains were delayed during four-week period ending last month

A Borders Railway train at Stow's station.
A Borders Railway train at Stow's station.

Figures released this week reveal that the number of delays hitting the Borders Railway was back into double percentage figures for the three months to mid-August.

In response to a question from regional Conservative list MSP Michelle Ballantyne, Scottish Government transport secretary Michael Matheson listed the number of delays and cancellations that Borders commuters have had to contend with so far this year.

They show that hold-ups hit their peak for 2019 thus far of 16.4% during the period from July 21 to August 17, with 267 of the 1,630 services scheduled being delayed.

Cancellations were at their highest from March 3 to 31, with 6.7% of 1,654 trains axed.

Former Selkirkshire councillor Mrs Ballantyne, an MSP since 2017, said: “After months of apologies and crocodile tears, we’ve seen no progress as the number of delays on the Borders Railway have increased.

“I’ve had a lot of constituents contact me about how this is affecting their lives. It’s impacting on people’s ability to get to work on time, to attend appointments and to travel.

“The fact of the matter is that something has to change, and soon.

“Thousands of people rely on trains to get to work, school and see loved ones.

“This service has been letting them down and it simply isn’t good enough.”

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “With extreme weather and major events, the summer months brought considerable challenges to every aspect of Scotland’s railway.

“It is encouraging to see improvement in the number of train cancellations in the Borders in recent months, but we know there is more to do to keep our customers moving.

“We understand and share customers’ frustration when things don’t go to plan, and everyone across Scotland’s railway is working round the clock to deliver the service our customers expect and deserve.”