Lewis Macdonald



1 March 2018

Commenting on the news that First Aberdeen Bus Drivers have voted 95% in favour of strike action, North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said :

“Clearly there will be concerns about the disruption the strike will cause, but the responsibility lies squarely with the management of First Aberdeen.

"They have unilaterally imposed changes to terms and conditions which means their most loyal and long serving drivers will be forced to do more while being paid less”

“I know that drivers and Unite the Union tried to engage with management, but unfortunately the employers seem determined to force through these changes.”

“Not only are drivers facing a significant pay cut, some will be expected to be on the road for ten hours a day.

"Understandably, drivers have raised their concerns about being on the road for this length of time.

"The fact that 95% of drivers voted for strike action shows just how strongly they feel about the impact of these imposed changes.”


1 March 2018

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today welcomed Keith Brown’s repeated commitment that the AWPR is due to be open and operational in Spring, but insisted that must mean the whole road and warned that that proposals to open some sections before others need to be planned properly to prevent further traffic problems.

After raising the issue in a question at parliament today, Lewis said:

“Today’s commitment from the Scottish Government that the AWPR is still due to be operational in Spring is welcome, but drivers across the North East will quite rightly expect that the Minister’s words means the whole route will be fully open before the start of the Summer.

“The Scottish Government’s proposal to make some sections operational ahead of others, as they are completed, will only work if adequate preparations have been made to allow drivers to safely join and exit the AWPR, as well as ensuring that existing access routes can cope with the additional traffic using the new road.

“Without such plans, opening the AWPR section by section could easily end up creating more traffic problems, not less. This must be addressed by Scottish Ministers before any plans to open some sections earlier than others can be implemented.”

Lewis' question

Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government in which month it anticipates the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will be fully open.

Keith Brown: We have always been clear about the timescale for this project.

I have previously stated the intention to open the AWPR this Spring and indeed, on a recent site visit, I saw for myself that work has been progressing in recent months and the new road is now clearly visible to local communities.

However, it is becoming apparent that Carillion’s announcement may have some impact on this programme indirectly through the effect on the supply chain and we are working closely with Aberdeen Roads Limited to mitigate those impacts where we can.

Clearly, on a site like this, extreme weather events such as Storm Frank in 2015 and this week’s exceptional weather conditions will have consequential impacts on progress. However, we are continuing to work with the contractor and our stakeholders, with a view to delivering the benefits associated with opening sections of the project as soon as it is safe to do so.


 

21 February 2018

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on ScotRail to provide a proper service for North East rugby fans after it was announced that extra carriages will only be made available as far as Dundee after the Calcutta Cup match against England on Saturday 24th February.

In November, after Scotland’s game against the All Blacks, fans trying to get home to Aberdeen and the North East faced chaos, because the last train north was already full to capacity by the time it reached Haymarket. Some had to pay for a taxi to get home and others were stranded overnight.

Lewis said : “After rugby fans were left stranded in Edinburgh in November, I asked ScotRail to look into the provision of extra trains and extra carriages when matches at Murrayfield were scheduled to start later in the afternoon.

“In response, I was told that ScotRail “rely on previous events” when calculating how much capacity is needed. Given that the available capacity was clearly insufficient after the New Zealand game on 18 November, it seems that ScotRail have not learned from their previous mistakes.

“Extra carriages will only be added as far as Dundee, and there will be no extra trains for the thousands of rugby fans from the North East of Scotland who want to get home after the game.

“ScotRail ScotRail must act now to avoid a repeat of last year’s travel chaos.

"The company must look again at their plans for Saturday’s match, and future events at Murrayfield, to ensure that paying customers from Aberdeen get the same service as those who live in the Central Belt.”


21 February 2018

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on ScotRail to provide a proper service for North East rugby fans after it was announced that extra carriages will only be made available as far as Dundee after the Calcutta Cup match against England on Saturday 24th February.

In November, after Scotland’s game against the All Blacks, fans trying to get home to Aberdeen and the North East faced chaos, because the last train north was already full to capacity by the time it reached Haymarket. Some had to pay for a taxi to get home and others were stranded overnight.

Lewis said : “After rugby fans were left stranded in Edinburgh in November, I asked ScotRail to look into the provision of extra trains and extra carriages when matches at Murrayfield were scheduled to start later in the afternoon.

“In response, I was told that ScotRail “rely on previous events” when calculating how much capacity is needed. Given that the available capacity was clearly insufficient after the New Zealand game on 18 November, it seems that ScotRail have not learned from their previous mistakes.

“Extra carriages will only be added as far as Dundee, and there will be no extra trains for the thousands of rugby fans from the North East of Scotland who want to get home after the game.

“ScotRail ScotRail must act now to avoid a repeat of last year’s travel chaos.

"The company must look again at their plans for Saturday’s match, and future events at Murrayfield, to ensure that paying customers from Aberdeen get the same service as those who live in the Central Belt.”