South Scotland

Galashiels Transport Interchange hours cut after abuse incidents

Interchange building Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption The transport interchange hours change is part of moves which could save £40,000-a-year

A transport interchange built for the Borders Railway is to cut its opening hours after the physical and verbal abuse of staff.

Scottish Borders Council said the site in Galashiels would open later and close earlier from 1 July.

It said the decision had been made for a "series of reasons" including late-night antisocial behaviour.

After the changes, it will open from 05:45 to 23:00 each day rather than 04:30 to 01:00.

The council said the decision also took into account low bus passenger numbers late at night and early in the morning.

It said an average of just 1.5 passengers used the five services running outside the new opening times.

The move is also part of a review of services at the interchange which the council said could save £40,000-a-year.

'Rarely used'

It stressed there would be no permanent job losses as a result of the change.

SBC's Gordon Edgar said: "The Galashiels Transport Interchange is a well-used facility, with 3,000 people passing through every day.

"However, council figures show that since it opened in August 2015, it is rarely used by bus passengers after 23:00 and before 06:00.

"There has also been late-night antisocial behaviour, with staff suffering verbal and physical abuse which has resulted in court appearances for offenders."

He said closing earlier would help with that issue.

"In the current financial climate, the council has to consider how it delivers its services differently," he added.

"While this change will result in some inconvenience for a small number of passengers, it will result in better use of the council's resources.

"Importantly, this decision will not change any bus or train services and will not see any permanent jobs lost."

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