Rail travellers in Rutherglen and Cambuslang are set to benefit from a pilot scheme designed to minimise the impact of severe disruption.
ScotRail and First Glasgow buses have signed up to an agreement that will see train users able to exchange tickets for bus vouchers if services are cancelled or disrupted.
The trial will only involve trains from Glasgow Central going to stations like Rutherglen, Cambuslang, King’s Park, Croftfoot, Burnside, Kirkhill and Newton.
But ScotRail say if it is successful, it could be rolled out to include journeys into Glasgow as well.
In total, over 100 stations on lines from Central and Queen Street will be included in the project.
ScotRail have faced criticism in recent years for not supplying alternative travel and leaving commuters stranded with little information.
The scheme has been cautiously welcomed by local MSP James Kelly.
He said: “We have seen in recent winters how severe weather has disrupted train travel and resulted in customers incurring extra costs to complete their journeys.
“I do believe that the fine detail of the scheme will need to be ironed out. I note that in many cases bus travel is cheaper that rail, therefore, customers would be paying more than the normal price for a bus journey under this scheme.
“In addition, I am aware that in recent times many local people have had their rail travel disrupted as they head into Glasgow.
“Therefore, I would like to see the scheme extended to cover travel from stations in the Rutherglen and Cambuslang area.”
However, one local commuter, Paul Harvey (31), was less than impressed. He travels to Dalmuir from Rutherglen every day, and said: “If trains are off then how am I meant to get home from Dalmuir? Not everyone just goes to Central but basically, if you don’t work in town it’s a case of ‘tough luck’. Even then, I would still need two buses to get home instead of one train.”
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “I hope the trial will reduce the need for us to order replacement buses when rail lines are blocked because it can take up to an hour for these to reach Glasgow city centre – or longer during bus peak travel times.”
Ronnie Park, managing director of First Glasgow, added: “We operate almost 1000 buses in Glasgow and Lanarkshire and are ideally placed to get many of ScotRail’s customers home safely.”