ANGRY residents and commuters have hit out at rail bosses after a month of engineering work kicked off with widespread disruption.

Resurfacing of the car park at Johnstone train station began on Saturday, with the makeover expected to last until Monday, February 4.

With the car park closed for a month, commuters who normally use the station are having to leave their vehicles in nearby residential streets or use alternative stations in Renfrewshire.

READ MORE: January rail disruption in Renfrewshire - what you need to know

Meanwhile, work also began at several other railway sites in the area at the weekend, notably on a footbridge at Arkleston, in Paisley, and also in Bishopton, where netting is being installed to protect the tracks from falling debris.

To add to the misery, a replacement bus service is operating between Glasgow Central and Paisley Gilmour Street on each weekend for the whole of January.

As a result of the work in Johnstone, the villages of Bishopton, Howwood and Lochwinnoch have been touted by rail bosses as alternatives for commuters.

However, there are concerns over the impact this could have.

The Gazette:

Residents and businesses in the likes Overton Road (red), Ellerslie Street (orange), and even the town's High Street (yellow) are being affected by the car park (green) closure

Councillor John Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, said the work is already causing disruption for residents and commuters alike.

He told The Gazette: “Overton Road in Johnstone is an absolute nightmare and has to be seen to be believed.

“I have been getting continuous complaints from residents as there are people parking in front of their driveways and blocking them in.

“Ellerslie Street is also packed.

“The car park closure is actually pushing commuters up to Johnstone Castle – and that’s having an impact on people who live there.

The Gazette: Milliken Park station

More space...Johnstone's other station, Milliken Park. 

“I know they have to do this work but perhaps they should have looked at doing half of the car park at a time or something else to alleviate the problems.

“I think this only furthers the case for increasing the parking capacity at Milliken Park station, as there is a lot of space there that could be used.”

Cllr Hood’s concerns have been backed by Allan Henderson, chairman of the Johnstone Business Consortium.

Mr Henderson, who owns Henderson’s Flowers, in the town’s High Street, said: “It is just terrible and I really feel so sorry for all of the residents who live around the station.

“People are really not parking. They are just abandoning their cars.

“Even when this is all finished, it won’t really solve the problem.

The Gazette:

Cllr Hood says disruption has spread as far as the surrounding areas of Johnstone Castle (red) 

“We’ve long since called for extra parking at Johnstone and this should have been taken into account when they planned these works.”

Johnstone residents have also taken to social media to complain about the parking “chaos.”

One man, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s not fun struggling to get in or out your drive or even find a space in your own street.”

Elsewhere, David Woodrow, of Bishopton Community Council, hit out over the message for commuters to use the car park at the village’s train station as an alternative while a large part of it is full of containers belonging to Network Rail.

The Gazette:

Network Rail containers are already taking up 'half' of the Bishopton station car park 

He told The Gazette: “Every car parking space is already taken up and yet they are suggesting Bishopton is used as an alternative.

“It is already half full with containers.

“While we understand the reasoning behind all of the improvement work, there seems to be no thinking to link it all together.

“It’s like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

“The congestion around the station is already considerable and is only going to get worse.”

Bill David, secretary of Howwood Community Council, said it is too early to know what impact the work at Johnstone train station will have on people living in the village.

READ MORE: Chaos looms with Johnstone rail car park closure

However, he stressed that the car park at Howwood station is already full to capacity and pledged members of the community council will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks.

This view was echoed by local councillor Bill Binks when asked what impact there has been in Lochwinnoch this week.

The Gazette:

No problems yet...Bill Binks 

Cllr Binks, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, is also monitoring the situation.

It is understood the work at Johnstone station is being funded from an underspend in ScotRail’s budget for 2018/19.