SCOTRAIL operators Abellio have announced a major investment in Scotland that will create at least 60 jobs in 2019.

However, an MSP has urged the rail firm to abandon plans included in the investment which will see 19 jobs move from a Fort William call centre to Glasgow.

The firm's investment will see an expansion of Abellio’s shared service centre at Robertson Street in Glasgow, which handles customer enquiries, finance, payroll and procurement activities.

The company employs more than 100 people at its HQ and shared service centre in Glasgow, with 5000 people employed in total by its Abellio ScotRail franchise.

As part of its review of all of its UK customer service operations, Abellio will now start to consult with its employees on its proposal to relocate operations to Glasgow from its Fort William call centre. Abellio said all Fort William staff will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Glasgow with a package of support.

Dominic Booth, Abellio managing director, said: “Abellio’s commitment to invest in Scotland will create at least sixty more jobs this year in Glasgow, as we grow and develop our customer support services. This investment builds on our UK Headquarters which we committed to bring to Scotland in 2015.”

However, the constituency MSP for Lochaber, Kate Forbes, condemned the decision to move 19 jobs from Fort William – effectively closing that office.

She spoke out after employees were informed of the news yesterday.

Last year Forbes raised concerns with Abellio bosses about contracts and roles at the Fort William office, after four posts were transferred to Glasgow.

The SNP MSP said: “I am disappointed to hear that Abellio plan to move the 19 jobs from its Fort William call centre to Glasgow, effectively shutting that office and I have made that clear to them in a phone call.

“This is not the time to be moving jobs from Fort William to the central belt. Only a few years ago there were over 60 people employed in that office and now there are only 19.

“All Abellio staff affected by this news are welcome to contact me, and I will do everything that I can to support them, as this is obviously a time of uncertainty and anxiety for staff and their families.”