INVERCLYDE’S MSP Stuart McMillan has welcomed ScotRail’s new train timetable for the district which is set to be rolled out this summer.

Changes for the Gourock and Wemyss Bay lines include additional peak time services and a half-hourly service provided on the latter for the first time – something the local SNP politician has long campaigned for.

Other key changes to the new timetable include a half-hourly Glasgow to Gourock service all day, including during evenings and on Sundays, and the last train from Glasgow to Wemyss Bay being at 10.55pm instead of the current 10.35pm service.

This new timetable comes into effect from 2 June after hundreds of people took part in a public consultation on the proposals.

Mr McMillan said: “I’ve campaigned for a half-hourly service on the Wemyss Bay line for many years, raising the issue with ScotRail, Transport Scotland and Scottish ministers.

“I was told repeatedly that capacity issues at Glasgow Central were the problem, so I’m delighted that ScotRail have taken a whole system approach and have now found a way of introducing this service.

“This will benefit rail passengers along the A78 corridor and, I hope, will result in fewer cars on our trunk roads – particularly at peak times.

“Public transport is an attractive option as it’s better for our carbon footprint, but operators accept that they need to be competitive with private car use.

“ScotRail recognised they were no longer competitive for drivers from Inverclyde to Glasgow, hence the redesigned timetable, which now delivers shorter journey times for people travelling on the Gourock line.

“Passengers on the Wemyss Bay line will experience slightly longer journey times, but ScotRail’s research shows that most people would choose to have more services on the route that take a bit longer, than fewer services which are shorter.

“The Wemyss Bay route is going from a current 32 services per day to 68, which is more than double. This gives passengers more choice over when they travel, which I welcome."

The MSP stressed that ScotRail had described the new timetable as a ‘starting point’ rather than the finished product.

He added: “They will continue to monitor passenger use and listen to what customers think about the timetable once it’s been introduced.

“Public transport operators will never be able to design services which suit the exact needs of every passenger, so it’s about finding what works for the majority.

“If changes do need to be made though, ScotRail have committed to addressing this – which I warmly welcome.”