Trains to skip stop IBM station to curb ‘anti-social and criminal behaviour’

IBM station is currently served by hourly trains seven days a week. Picture: Nigel Thompson Inverclyde'cc-by-sa/2.0 - �Nigel Thompson - geograph.org.uk/p/3854207
IBM station is currently served by hourly trains seven days a week. Picture: Nigel Thompson Inverclyde'cc-by-sa/2.0 - �Nigel Thompson - geograph.org.uk/p/3854207
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All trains are to stop calling at IBM station in Inverclyde to prevent yobs alighting to cause trouble, The Scotsman has learned.

Hourly services to the station on the Glasgow-Wemyss Bay line will be suspended from 9 December.

It served the recently-demolished IBM factory in the former Spango Valley, which closed in 2016.

Fewer than 800 passengers a year – around two a day – still use it.

ScotRail said the station “was becoming a centre for antisocial and criminal behaviour”.

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It said the move had been requested by local people and backed by British Transport Police.

The train operator said it would continue to maintain the station, and would review the decision next year.

It said services could resume if the factory site is redeveloped.

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The move is thought to avoid the need to go through the formal closure process normally required when trains no longer stop at a station.

When IBM station opened in 1978, it was served by rush-hour services only for the IBM workforce, which peaked at 4,000. Services were advertised more widely from 1986.

Trains have continued to call there every hour, including on Sundays, despite passenger numbers falling from 136,000 in 2010 to 6,000 in 2016-17 and fewer than 800 in the year to March.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “Following consultation with, and at the request of, local stakeholders in response to antisocial behaviour incidents, we are temporarily suspending services at IBM halt station.

“The station has not been closed. However, trains will no longer call there from 9 December.

“This has been agreed with [Scottish Government agency] Transport Scotland and key stakeholders and partners along the route.

“With the IBM facility itself being closed and in the process of demolition, and with no real demand for use from our customers, it is not driving significant footfall.

“As a result of this, the station is becoming a centre for antisocial and criminal behaviour on the Inverclyde lines.

“The closest alternative stations are Inverkip and Branchton.

“Our current timetable will remain largely unchanged and there will be time between the stations before and after IBM that would allow trains to call again at the station should the IBM site be redeveloped.

“This is a temporary suspension of services which will be reviewed in 2019.”

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are aware ScotRail are temporarily suspending services at IBM station following a number of concerns from the local community and stakeholders about antisocial behaviour.

“This affects a very small number of passengers and can be revisited should the nearby derelict industrial site be repurposed in the future.”