Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has encouraged East Kilbride residents to help shape future of rail services in Scotland by participating in the RAIL2014 Consultation launched today.
Linda said “I know from speaking to many people around the town, the importance good transport links have in allowing people to commute to work and also to socialise with friends and family.
“In 2014, both the current contract for 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.
“Transport Scotland’s Rail2014 Consultation gives people the opportunity to express opinions on how future rail passenger services in Scotland should be delivered.
“I would encourage those with an interest in rail services to take part in the consultation and have their voice heard.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown 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.
Notes to Editors
1. The Scottish rail network is extensive – around 2,800 kilometres of track, a quarter of which is electrified, and 350 stations. It is a mixed use railway with both passenger and freight services.
2. The Scottish Ministers specify and contract for ScotRail passenger services and fund the maintenance, renewal and investment activities delivered by Network Rail within Scotland.
3. 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. This consultation is a crucial part of our considerations.
4. Transport Scotland is the Scottish Government’s national transport agency responsible for; aviation, bus, freight and taxi policy; coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland; ferries, ports and harbours; impartial travel services; liaising with regional transport partnerships, including monitoring of funding; local roads policy; major public transport projects; national concessionary travel schemes; rail and trunk road networks; sustainable transport, road safety and accessibility; the Blue Badge Scheme. Transport Scotland is an Executive agency accountable to Scottish Ministers. http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/