‘Celtic Capitals’ rail service linking Edinburgh & Cardiff a must for new franchisePublished 30 August 2018 by Transform Scotland
For immediate release
Thursday 30 August 2018
‘CELTIC CAPITALS’ RAIL SERVICE LINKING EDINBURGH & CARDIFF A MUST FOR NEW FRANCHISE
Transform Scotland  has called for the new Cross Country rail franchise to include direct Edinburgh-Cardiff rail services.  The demand comes as part of Transform Scotland’s response to the UK Government’s call for evidence on the new Cross Country rail franchise, which closes today. 
Paul Tetlaw, spokesperson for Transform Scotland, commented:
“The capitals of Scotland and Wales have long suffered from a sub-standard rail connection. The new Cross Country rail franchise provides an opportunity to put in place direct rail services between Cardiff and Edinburgh.
“With powers increasingly being passed to the Devolved Administrations, there is an opportunity to further build political and cultural links between the Welsh and Scottish capital cities, while also providing for greater leisure travel links between them.
“The extension of Virgin Trains services from Scotland to Birmingham and onwards to London has proved popular — providing new direct connections between stations along the route. Similarly routing some trains to Wales would open up new journey opportunities.”
“Perhaps an opportunity could be taken to market such a service as the ‘Celtic Capitals connection’?”
As part of its response to the Cross Country consultation, Transform Scotland is calling for:
- A focus on long-distance routes, with commuter stops transferred to local rail franchises (e.g. ScotRail for Scottish station stops).
- A review of routes and destinations, with more services routed from Scotland to Oxford, Reading and the south coast of England, avoiding the overcrowded London market served by other rail operators.
- Putting in place suitable rolling stock, with trains more suited for long-distance travel.
- Revised and enhanced marketing, making the public more aware of the journey opportunities afforded by the Cross Country network.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
 We are Scotland’s alliance for sustainable transport. We campaign for walking, cycling and public transport to be the easiest and most affordable options for everyone. Our diverse membership brings together public, private and third sector organisations from across Scotland. We are a registered charity, politically independent and strictly science-based. We are a registered Scottish charity (SC041516).
 The UK Government’s ‘Cross Country franchise’ consultation is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/cross-country-rail-franchise
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