21/02/2012

Rail Consultation - Flawed Proposals Need a Rethink



As I said I would when they were published in November I have responded to the Scottish Government's Transport Scotland consultation on the future of the rail service in Scotland. I believe that these proposals are deeply flawed and should be withdrawn, however I have made a response to the consultation and made the case for better services for Dundee.



I am surprised that the SNP Scottish Government has not withdrawn these deeply flawed proposals. I think that people in Dundee will be surprised that the Scottish Government thinks that there should be fewer direct rail services to Dundee.


I have responded to this consultation on the future of rail services in Scotland and made a strong case for better rail services right across Scotland and indeed for better services connecting us with England and Wales and ultimately with the continent. I particularly want better services for Dundee.



In my response I pointed out that the price of rail travel can at times seem like it is designed to put people off traveling by rail. I also pointed out that the number of people regularly standing on services to and from Dundee was disgraceful and should be dealt with. At the prices charged it is not acceptable that people often have to stand.


I made the case for cross-border trains to continue north of Edinburgh. We are talking about a Scotrail franchise here not an EdinburghRail franchise this should be a national service serving all the people of Scotland. I also think that the sleeper service should continue, this is essential for business and tourism.



In my response I said that Scotrail should be looking to increase the number of services rather than looking to create more services where changing train is necessary. I think having to change train is a disincentive to using the train. It seems to me that there are many aspects of these proposals which are designed to damage the rail service in Scotland rather than improve it.



I think with the V & A coming to Dundee we need to improve rail services to our city. I will always be arguing the case for better services for Dundee. We need a rail service which connects our city with Scotland and with England and Wales. We need a rail service which encourages people to leave the car at home and take the train. The proposals put forward here by the Scottish Government just do not do that.



You can support Scottish Labour's campaign against these ideas by visiting our campaign site.