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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Iona Young & Jon Brady

Edinburgh commuters heading home on Hogmanay 'abandoned' as train firm cancels services

Edinburgh tourists and locals who might be travelling back home on the west coast mainline for Hogmanay have been "abandoned" after flooding closed the line and railway bosses failed to arrange onward travel.

Avanti West Coast, which runs cross-country services on the line, announced on Saturday morning that it had cancelled services north of Carlisle due to a landslip at Carstairs caused by heavy downpours report the Record.

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However, the operator says it has not organised ticket acceptance with other train companies, nor will it arrange replacement bus services due to "heavy road flooding".

In tweets issued on Hogmanay at 8am, Avanti said: "Due to a landslip near Carstairs, all lines north of Carlisle are blocked. Do Not Travel between Carlisle and Scotland."

It added: "Lines will remain closed until the end of the day (31 December). There is no ticket acceptance in place with @LNER. Due to heavy road flooding, there will be no rail replacement services."

Large sections of the A74(M) connecting Scotland and England were closed on Friday after downpours led to lake-like conditions on the trunk road.

Traffic Scotland reported later that day that the incident had been cleared – but Avanti has told enquiring travellers that buses will not be laid on due to floods on the main route into Scotland.

One Twitter user said: "Well, having just driven from Manchester to Glasgow by car early this morning, after being stranded there yesterday, I can confirm the M74 is open, dry and not flooded at all. So replacement coach services could have EASILY been put on."

Another wrote: "Its New Year's Eve, how are you supposed to explain to people that have made plans months in advance to go to Scotland just to give up, lose their money and stay at home with no alternative method of travel. Disgusting."

A third added: "The motorway reopened 13 hours ago. You should be able to organise buses for today rather than abandoning passengers on New Years Eve."

Avanti has since reiterated that it will not put on replacement buses, and has added that anyone wishing to use either LNER or TransPennine Express for onward travel will have to buy a new ticket. Those who cannot travel will be eligible for a refund under the Delay Repay scheme.

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It told one customer: "I appreciate how incredibly frustrating this is, but with the two main routes to Scotland flooded, along with the motorway which is the main route into Scotland, we are unable to offer an alternative. I am sorry, your ticket will be refundable via your point of purchase."

Our sister title, the Daily Record has contacted Avanti West Coast for comment.


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