ScotRail has today confirmed it will operate a further hourly off peak service between Ayr and Glasgow on Saturdays from May 2013.
And from May 2014, a similar service will also run Monday to Friday.
Their introduction means that the current off peak Glasgow to Irvine services – introduced in December 2012 - will extend all the way to Ayr. All the new services will call at Paisley Gilmour Street in both directions.
ScotRail is investing £300k to deliver these timetable improvements, negotiated as part of its franchise agreement with Transport Scotland which will now run until March 2015.
The new services will offer additional travel opportunities between Glasgow, Renfrewshire and Ayrshire. For most of the day there will now be four services per hour between Ayr and Glasgow with two of these calling at all stations between Paisley and Irvine.
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said: “We recognise that Ayr is major destination in its own right. These additional services will further improve transport links for people in Kilwinning, Irvine, Barassie, Troon and Prestwick.”
He added: “Saturday is already the most popular day for off peak travel between Paisley and Ayr with customers going shopping, visiting friends and family or simply making a day of it. Come May we will be encouraging even more people to choose train travel for leisure activities. And the Ayrshire coast is a big draw in the summer months.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "Transport Scotland and ScotRail have been working closely to evaluate passenger numbers and satisfaction on services between Glasgow and Ayr and a survey undertaken by ScotRail in November 2012 highlighted a demand for additional services between Paisley and Ayrshire on a Saturday. So I am delighted that ScotRail, in agreement with Transport Scotland through the franchise continuation, has identified resources to introduce service enhancements on a Saturday by extending the Glasgow to Irvine service through to Ayr from as early as this coming May.
"The Paisley Corridor timetable will continue to offer excellent ferry connections and journey times across all routes in Ayrshire and Inverclyde and is expected to deliver an extra half a million rail journeys each year with all stations on the routes, including Paisley Gilmour Street, benefiting from more passengers."
Councillor Willie Gibson, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “This is excellent news for North Ayrshire – and the people of Irvine, Kilwinning and the Garnock Valley in particular.
"The importance of having good public transport links shouldn't be underestimated - both for local people travelling to Glasgow and those visiting North Ayrshire. The increased links will better serve North Ayrshire and will go some way to tackling the misconception that we are on the periphery of Scotland.”
Bill Grant, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “Ayr is a great place to come to. We have Burns, golf, cycling, shopping and a wide range of places to eat at prices to suit every pocket. It is great news that ScotRail is investing in additional train services. Increasing the number of trains to and from Ayr will be of great benefit to commuters and to tourists who bring a very welcome boost to our local economy.”