THE actions of an irresponsible group of 30 people who travelled to Largs by train for a trip to the seaside is 'a real slap on the face' to locals, the area's MSP said this week.

Kenneth Gibson has told the News urged townsfolk to contact the police if they see large numbers congregating - and not to challenge lawbreakers themselves.

His plea comes after ScotRail spotlighted a huge group who visited Largs by train during the recent spell of good weather.

The matter was raised by the rail company on their social media channels, resulted in a number of angry responses from the public.

ScotRail said: "This is a special message for the group of 30 or so folk who travelled together by train for a trip to Largs beach.

"You're making a mockery of all the people who have worked so hard to stop the spread of coronavirus. Wise up."

The rail operator say they do not have the power to eject passengers breaking the rules.

A spokeperson added: "We're not the police and, quite frankly, our staff shouldn't be put in that situation.

"We're not law enforcement and we do not have the powers to question every single person who wants to travel with us each day about their intentions.

"People need to take some responsibility for their own actions."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says restrictions on group sizes and travel distances could be made law after it concerns that some people have flaunted the rules since lockdown was eased.

Local MSP Kenneth Gibson said: “To not only congregate with more than eight people but to then also travel by train to the seaside - no doubt being well within two metres distance from each other - is a flagrant breach of the lockdown rules, which are very much still in place.

“The same goes for those congregating at the beach in Seamill, leaving their litter behind to add insult to injury.

“These selfish actions are a real slap in the face to those who have been, and continue to, abide by the rules so we can get back to a level of normality without spreading the coronavirus.

“Largs and Millport News readers who are shielding will be looking at this in horror, as the reckless behaviour of others means it is not safe for them to come out and enjoy some fresh air in their local environment, nip to the shop or even walk the dog. They are going through a very difficult time and my thoughts are with them.

“I hope that people who feel tempted to congregate understand that by putting others at risk, they may set the progress we made back for all of Scotland.

“The First Minister has already said measures will be taken to scale back the easing if that’s what it has to come to.

“I ask anyone who witnesses a situation like what happened in Largs or Seamill, not to engage with such groups themselves but to call 101 and and report it to the police.”