FRUSTRATED taxi drivers have branded promises from rail bosses that they will consider removing stones from Clydebank train station as “all words, no action”.

In May, we reported that red chipping stones could be removed from the platform following several incidents of vandalism amid a rise of anti-social behaviour in the town.

The news came as little comfort to the 85 members of the Clydebank Taxi Operators and Drivers Trade [CTODT] who told the Post they are “scunnered” and are calling for urgent action to be taken before someone is hurt.

Clydebank Post:

Charles Murray, chairman of CTODT, explained the issue has been ongoing at the Alexander Street rank for around eight years.

Clydebank Post: The taxi rank at Alexander StreetThe taxi rank at Alexander Street (Image: Newsquest staff)

He said: “The kids come up here and hold the train doors, they know fine well if they jump on the train they won’t get caught.

“They stand at the side of the bridge and fire stones at the Co-op, the buses, taxis, and people passing by.

“If a stone smashes our window that’s £75 to £100 each time to get it replaced, plus your time off the road.

“Your livelihood is affected because if you can’t get it fixed that day due to stock issues or whatever you could be off the road for a week.

“That’s a week's wages, plus excess, and you’ve not always got £100 to spare. When they’re up there throwing stones down they know exactly what they’re doing.

“But who is liable? You phone up a number for Network Rail and they’ll say ‘It’s nothing to do with us, it’s British Transport Police [BTP] you need to go to’.

“The two of them just pass the buck to each other, they’re constantly back and forth.

"I told them this has been going on for eight years so why has nothing been done?

“Take the ammunition away.”

Clydebank Post: Red chipping stones line the platform at Clydebank train stationRed chipping stones line the platform at Clydebank train station (Image: Newsquest Staff)

Just two weeks ago Charles and another driver were parked on Alexander Street when they were reportedly pelted with stones.

Clydebank Post: Stones littered across the ground on Alexander StreetStones littered across the ground on Alexander Street (Image: CTODT)

He said incidents like this have forced drivers to “abandon” the rank around twice a week due to safety concerns.
Clydebank Post: Chalmers Street Chalmers Street (Image: Newsquest Staff)

James Dylan, who is also a taxi driver in Clydebank, raised similar fears last year after youngsters smashed the back window of his car.

He added: “It was frightening. If I had had anyone in here that whole window would have come straight in and hit them, it hit me when it shattered.

“This has happened twice now, the first time it was my windshield. When I reported the issue via the help point at the station I was told the cameras wouldn’t have caught it as they’re not facing that way.

“The person on the intercom also said they [ScotRail] won’t remove the stones because they are there for show.

“Three weeks ago I was chatting to another driver and they just leathered us with stones.

"The kids know nothing happens when you report it which is why they’re doing it.

“I’m worried about people being injured. I mean I came down here one Saturday morning and the whole road was littered with stones, they’ve just flung everything down.

“We need action, this has to be dealt with, we are scunnered.”

Clydebank Post: CCTV cameras at Clydebank train stationCCTV cameras at Clydebank train station (Image: Newsquest staff)

Alasdair McWhirter, Chief Inspector at BTP, said: “British Transport Police are aware of reports of stones being thrown from the platform at Clydebank train station.

“We have zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour on Scotland’s rail network. Our officers continue to conduct patrols at stations and onboard trains in the area to apprehend those engaging in unacceptable behaviour.

“We also continue to engage with the local community in Clydebank. Our officers have been visiting local schools to educate young people on the dangers of inappropriate behaviour at stations.

“Scotland’s travelling public can expect to see an increased police presence in the area and witnesses to incidents, or anyone with information, are urged to speak to officers or to text 61016.”

Stephen Elliot, ScotRail security and crime manager, added: “Vandalism and anti-social behaviour is completely unacceptable, and ScotRail works very closely with British Transport Police to ensure that Scotland’s Railway is a safe environment for our customers, and our own people.     

“This includes involvement in multi-agency initiatives to clamp down on anti-social behaviour, the introduction of our Travel Safe Team, and the rollout of body-worn cameras which deter and prevent incidents from escalating.    

“We will continue to work with the British Transport Police and Police Scotland to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour and bring anyone responsible to justice.”