A BLIND man has blasted ScotRail bosses for failing to fix a technical glitch at the barriers of a busy Glasgow station that has caused over a year of disruption for travellers.

Sam Howie says he’s been prevented from travelling independently as his National Entitlement Card (NEC) fails to activate one of the automatic gates at Anderston – despite there being no issues with the smart card at any other rail hub across the country.

The 51-year-old says he’s forced to wait for a member of staff to manually allow him through each time he arrives - and despite making countless complaints to ScotRail – says the issue has yet to be resolved.

Sam, from Wishaw, who uses the station to travel to his work in the city centre, says: “It’s very frustrating for something that should be a simple fix. There’s been a lot of money spent upgrading parts of the station, but for some reason this seems to have been ignored.

Sam has blasted Scotrail for failing to fix the issue.Sam has blasted Scotrail for failing to fix the issue. (Image: Colin Mearns)

“It’s quite embarrassing as I have to wait around until a member of staff comes along and lets me through. Nobody seems to know why it won’t work, but surely something can be done to sort it out to save me the constant inconvenience and disruption to my journey. Sometimes if I’m running late, it can be a nightmare being further held up.

"It means I’m adding time onto my journey or missing appointments and I also feel like it’s impacting my ability to travel independently, something that hugely important to me given my condition.”

Sam says he is baffled as to why the problem only seems to be at Anderston.

READ NEXT: Delays as Glasgow PET scan centre hit by staff shortages

He added: “It’s odd that it scans normally at every other station, but just not there. I even sent away and got another card just in case there was something wrong with the mechanics of the one I was using, but the second one still didn’t work. If it’s happening to me then surely it must also be impacting other people who are visually impaired or disabled and rely on the NEC to travel for free.”

Sam, who is registered blind, claims he has been raising the issue with ScotRail since May last year, and has offered to meet with management to show them the first-hand the issues he’s experiencing.

He told the Glasgow Times: “Despite countless emails, I’ve heard nothing back and staff at the Anderson have also raised the issue with their bosses, but the problem persists.

“The station is just a five-minute walk from my office, so it’s the most convenient one for me to use. All I want to do is go to work as independently as possible without having to deal with this every time I use what should be a reliable service.

“It also frustrating that nothing seems to be getting done to sort it out. Obviously, there will be other visually impaired people in the same fix, so surely it makes sense to find out what the issue is and fix it. We are supposed to be encouraging people to use public transport, this is doing he exact opposite.

“I feel this has gone on long enough and now needs to be sorted out.”

(Image: Newsquest)

ScotRail says it is now investigating further after being contacted by the Glasgow Times and today apologised for the inconvenience caused to Sam.

Claire Dickie, ScotRail Commercial Director, said: “We are sorry for the issues being experienced by the customer at Anderston Station when using a smart card.

“We have reviewed the problem, and it appears that one gate at the station is displaying a fault with the card reader.

“It has been passed to our technical team, and we are working to find a resolution as soon as possible.”

Sam added: “I’m grateful to the Glasgow Times for highlighting his and pushing for a resolution. I’ve been trying for months with no luck, so I’m thankful it now looks like it is being looked into and will be addressed.”