Railway staff “crammed” into portacabins at the Station Hotel are calling for better conditions for workers and customers. 

It is understood the railway station will never operate from inside the abandoned building again.

Now there are plans for ScotRail workers to move into other portacabins at the bottom of the car park on Station Road in Ayr.

South Ayrshire Council was forced to take control of the privately owned Station Hotel when it became a danger to the public due to its dilapidated state last year.

Station staff were moved to temporary portacabins beside the building.

Mick Hogg, regional organiser for the RMT union in Scotland, said staff working conditions are unacceptable.

He said: “It has been a right song and dance. We need a facility that is fit for purpose.”

He called for the Station Hotel to be bulldozed.

He said: “We would rather see the building demolished. We want to start from scratch to ensure our members are working in a safe environment.”

He added: “Our members and the travelling public should not be subjected to any health and safety risk as a result of this shambles at Ayr Station. The shambles has been created by the refusal of Network Rail and other stakeholders to take ownership of a building that was falling to bits.”

Union representatives want workers moved to the better portacabins on the other side of the railway tracks as soon as possible.

Health and safety RMT rep Willie Harper who works at the station said: “It has been very challenging.”

Gerry McCann,  an RMT official from Ayr, said: “The staff are crammed into a portacabin. There is no fresh running water.”

He said facilities were not good enough for rail passengers. People waiting for trains to Glasgow or bus links to the ferries at Cairnryan have no shelter.

He said: “People have to stand out in the rain. We want action.”

An exclusion zone is in place  around parts of the hotel to keep people away from the structure while building work proceeds to make it safe. 

MSP Colin Smyth met with the union and ScotRail to make the case for improvements last week.  He said: “While staff had to be moved quickly out of offices which were part of the same building as the Station Hotel due to safety fears, the temporary arrangements put in place don’t deliver for staff or passengers.”

The council are in discussion with  Transport Scotland, Network Rail and ScotRail about the future of the building. 

A ScotRail spokesman said: “We are committed to providing the best possible working environment for our people. “We are working closely with our Network Rail Scotland colleagues and trade union representatives to deliver a long-term solution for the facilities at Ayr Station.”