Councillor Nathan Wilson has written to the Transport Minister to request that the Scottish Government ensure a ticket machine is introduced at Shieldmuir train station.
The Conservative, who represents the Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig ward, initially contacted ScotRail to ask for a self-service ticket machine to be installed at the station but was advised there were no plans to put one in place as it is not cost-effective.
The majority of train stations in the Motherwell and Wishaw area – including Wishaw, Bellshill, Motherwell, Airbles and Holytown – have a ticket machine where passengers are able to purchase a ticket before joining a ScotRail service.
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ScotRail say that the cost of the machine, its installation and servicing costs make it an unviable option for Shieldmuir as not enough tickets are sold for travel from the station.
As ScotRail was nationalised by the Scottish Government last year and is in public ownership, Councillor Wilson has asked Transport Minister, Fiona Hyslop MSP, to engage with the train operator over the lack of a ticket machine for his constituents at Shieldmuir station and facilitate the introduction of one.
Councillor Wilson said: “ScotRail’s response to my representation is hugely frustrating.
“From reading the reply, it seems apparent that there was no comprehensive review into whether the introduction of a ticket machine at Shieldmuir would be merited.
“Rail is an environmentally friendly mode of travel and can play an important part in our collective battle against climate change.
“When considering the role of rail travel in supporting the environment, it may be helpful to have ticket machines at stations such as Shieldmuir where none are currently present to maximize the range of ticket purchase options available and further encourage people to journey by train.
“As ScotRail is now in public ownership, I have escalated the matter to the Transport Minister and asked that the Scottish Government look to ensure a ticket machine can finally be installed at Shieldmuir.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “This is an operational matter for ScotRail.”
Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said: “The way customers travel has changed in recent years, and the pandemic has quickened the pace of that change.
“More customers now prefer to buy tickets online, via the ScotRail app, and through our mTicket system where they can secure tickets from the comfort of their home, or on the way to the station, and download them to their mobile device.
“As the buying and travel patterns of customers change, we’ll continue to adapt to deliver a railway that is modern, safe, reliable, and which serves our customers’ needs.”
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