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News

Welcome for New Franchise to Transform Rail Services

Published 08 October 2014 by Transform Scotland

Need now for Scottish Government to come forward with infrastructure enhancements for inter-city routes

Transform Scotland [1] today (Weds 8-Oct) welcomed the award of the new franchise to Abellio.

Transform Scotland spokesperson, Paul Tetlaw, said:

“We welcome the new deal to transform rail services in Scotland, and the award of the new franchise to Abellio. [2]

“We are pleased to see that many of the improvements that we had called for are specified in the new franchise. However, there will need to be serious investment in the inter-city routes and it is imperative that the Scottish Government now comes forward with detailed plans for infrastructure enhancements. If the train is indeed to compete with the car then we need to see the same level of ambition for the railway that the Government clearly demonstrates for roads.”

In our response to the franchise consultation we called for a number of improvements to be delivered in the new franchise. Some of the key areas we highlighted were:

  • Inter-city routes need to have appropriate rolling stock for such long distance services and journey times must be reduced to compete with the car.
  • Rural routes also need appropriate rolling stock to allow passengers to enjoy the many scenic and world famous journeys on Scotland’s railways.
  • The new operator must work closely with Visit Scotland and tourist attractions to market the railway in Scotland.
  • Further re-openings are needed to serve communities such as Levenmouth where a new railway would provide a major economic boost.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland is the national sustainable transport alliance, bringing together rail, bus and shipping operators, local authorities, national environment and conservation groups, businesses and local transport groups – see <http://www.transformscotland.org.uk/members.aspx> for details.

[2] ‘New deal to transform rail services’

In their news release, the Scottish Government sets out their ambition to “transform rail services”:

www.transportscotland.gov.uk/news/new-deal-transform-rail-services