Following the recent announcement by Abellio that the left luggage facility at Aberdeen railway station will be withdrawn from Saturday 12th October, Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur and Shetland’s MSP, Beatrice Wishart have written to Abellio to demand that a workable alternative arrangement is put in place before the closure takes place.
News of the proposed closure prompted constituents in both Orkney and Shetland to contact the Northern Isles MSPs to express concern about the impact on those travelling to and from the islands. Mr McArthur and Ms Wishart subsequently wrote to Abellio to relay these concerns directly and urge a rethink on the decision.
Abellio responded to say that they are exploring the possibility of working with a retailer to provide a left luggage facility as part of the station redevelopment. Mr McArthur and Ms Wishart have called on Abellio to fast track those discussions so that agreement is reached on a proposed alternative before the current facility is removed.
Mr McArthur commented:
“Passengers travelling to and from Orkney and Shetland by ferry, rely on the left luggage facility at Aberdeen railway station. The proposed closure will have a disproportionate impact on our constituents, many of whom are not able to carry around large bags and suitcases, while they wait for their ferry or train to depart.
“Since news of Abellio’s plans were revealed, many of those likely to be affected have been in touch to highlight their anger at the decision, which appears to have been taken with little or no consultation.
“Abellio claim they will look to have discussions with local retailers to see if an alternative left luggage service can be put in place. There is no detail of when this might happen or where it would be located. Surely it makes more sense to reach agreement on alternative arrangements before deciding to pull the plug on the current facility.
“Even at this late stage, we hope Abellio will agree to review this decision and take steps to minimise any impact on islanders.”