Passengers to help shape future of rail services in Scotland
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 16:15
Rail users and stakeholders are being asked to play their part in shaping Scotland's rail services with passenger interests at the heart.
Transport Scotland today launches its Rail2014 Consultation, which offers passengers, as well as those who don't currently travel by train, and any other interested parties, the opportunity to express opinions on how future rail passenger services in Scotland should be delivered.
In 2014, both the current contract for rail passenger services (ScotRail) and the funding arrangements for Network Rail in Scotland are due to come to an end and new arrangements have to be in place.
The consultation document provides details of how the railway in Scotland operates today and sets out the questions and options being considered for the future.
Angus MacDonald MSP for Falkirk East said:
"By participating in this consultation, passengers and stakeholders have the chance to help shape Scotland's rail future and I would encourage them to read through the document, consider the issues which are important to them and respond with their views.
"An efficient railway is key to the Scottish Government's purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth. Our ambition is to have a railway that offers value for money, ensures closer working and integration between Network Rail and the service operators and, most importantly, has passenger interests at its heart.
"Our aim is to develop an efficient, passenger-focused railway, which incorporates the best private sector attributes with the ethos of public service and this consultation is a crucial part of our considerations."
From 15 November 2011 stakeholders and members of the public can respond to the consultation via the Transport Scotland website: http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/rail2014
Transport Scotland staff will also be speaking with passengers at train stations across the country, where passengers will be able to give direct feedback. Stakeholders in the public sector and in the rail industry will be contacted directly and invited to contribute to the consultation.
The closing date for consultation is 20 February 2012. The outcomes of this consultation will be published later in 2012.
The consultation considers a variety of issues affecting the delivery of rail services in Scotland, including rail fares, how to improve reliability, train and station facilities, and environmental factors.
There are around 78 million passenger journeys a year on ScotRail services, with a further 6 million passenger journeys across the border to and from England. Demand for ScotRail passenger services has increased by 25.5% over the last seven years and this demand is expected to grow.