Virtual Branch Line virtually useless
Friday, 09 January 2009
The Scottish Government’s virtual branch line is an insult to St Andrews. All it is is information about the buses for rail passengers. Now of course this should have been provided from the start and it is a good thing that it finally is, but that in no way comes near an actual rail service. The combined rail and bus ticket is doubtless convenient for some, but there is no financial advantage in purchasing it. There are no extra buses. The bus times have not been changed to fit in with the trains. And the bus services are not dedicated St Andrews-Leuchars Station services. The National Rail website for Leuchars now shows the bus-times to SANWBUS, which those with a cryptic mind might work out means St Andrews Bus Station, but it does not give the arrival time (unlike the paper rail timetable which gives the arrival time but omits the departure) nor does it give the service number of the buses which, bizarrely, are described as being operated by First Scotrail. This will come as news to Mr Soutar and Moffat & Williamson. So the buses, depending upon their routes, are taking the same time to get to St Andrews, and the trains are running at the same speed as previously, yet the Scottish Government claims this will improve journey times! This either displays ignorance of the actual situation - any passenger will confirm that the place where time could be saved is at Leuchars itself, between getting off a bus and on to a train or vice-versa - or blatant dishonesty, and a hope that by repeating the lie often enough, people will believe it.