Cumbernauld train stations miss out on nationwide wi-fi roll out

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North Lanarkshire has not been included in a nationwide roll-out of wi-fi but several train stations across the country have.

Train stations in the area including Cumbernauld, Greenfaulds and Croy, will not benefit from the free wi-fi.

But the scheme is being rolled out across 25 Scotrail stations thanks to more than a £1 million of Scottish Government funding.

The news has not been welcomed by North Lanarkshire Councillor David Fagan, who heads up the local authority’s regeneration and infrastructure committee.

He says the decision is ‘a real slap in the face’ to the people of this area.

He added: “I am baffled by the decision to exclude major North Lanarkshire stations in Motherwell, Airdrie and Croy from the roll-out of free wi-fi.

“Stations in Lanarkshire serve around 13 per cent of the Scottish population and are extremely popular with commuters. At a time when we are focussed on trying to boost the economy this is a real slap in the face to the people of North Lanarkshire.

“I will be seeking urgent talks with ScotRail and the minister to seek answers on why North Lanarkshire has been excluded and make a positive case for immediate inclusion.”

Scotrail said that many factors were considered when choosing the first train stations to benefit from free wi-fi.

These factors included footfall, how long people stay in each station, number of services and the impact of major events such as the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.

A ScotRail spokesman also pointed out that wi-fi is currently being rolled out on board all Class 170 trains, which call at Croy on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High route.

The spokesman added: “We understand that some customers will be disappointed that their local station was not included this time. However, we have long-term plans for more stations to receive wi-fi in future. These 25 stations are simply the first step towards this goal.”

Transport minister Keith Brown pointed out that there are many projects ongoing or in the pipeline which will improve the rail network in this area.

This includes the work due to start next month to electrify the route between Cumbernauld and Glasgow Queen Street.

The £81 million project will deliver additional capacity and better connectivity for passengers in the area.

Mr Brown added: “North Lanarkshire is very much part of this Government’s plans to upgrade and improve our railways and to say that we are excluding the region is simply not true.”

What is your view? Should North Lanarkshire be included in this first roll out of wi-fi across train stations?