A new hourly train service serving the coastal strip of Angus that was due to start in May has been delayed for six months.
The “deeply disappointing” news was given to Angus South SNP MSP Graeme Dey at a meeting with ScotRail in the Scottish Parliament.
The service won’t now be launched until the end of the year owing to the knock-on effect of problems ScotRail have encountered with the new Hitachi electric trains which are to serve the Glasgow-Edinburgh line.
Mr Dey said: “Although the circumstances which have led to this six-month delay in the introduction of the new service — which will benefit Monifieth, Carnoustie and Arbroath in my constituency — are entirely outwith ScotRail’s control, the news is still deeply disappointing.
“The roll-out is entirely dependent on when the electric trains come into service, thereby freeing up the necessary rolling stock for this part of the country, and I am advised that because of windscreen and software problems with the Hitachi’s that won’t now happen until December, which is a real blow, particularly for would be commuters from Monifieth who were expecting to be able to access in the region of 32 trains a day within a few weeks.”
The rail company’s proposals would see the number of stops made by trains at Broughty Ferry more than double while four times as many trains could call at nearby Monifieth in Angus.
Under the proposals, by 2019 the number of trains stopping at Broughty Ferry will increase to 33, while the number stopping at Monifieth will rise from seven to 27.
The number of services stopping at Carnoustie will rise from 34 per day to 40 and from 73 to 89 at Arbroath.
ScotRail’s head of business development, Scott Prentice, previously outlined the changes to regional transport partnership Tactran.
He said they would create a “viable rail service for local commuting and leisure journeys to/ from Dundee and Aberdeen for the first time since the 1980s”.