Transport User Voice – January 2020 – Chief executive’s editorial

20 December 2019

A welcome focus on transport during the election

As bus use sinks yet again and car traffic rises, the emphasis on transport during the election campaign seems all the more relevant. The Government manifesto commitment around a ‘Superbus’ network and better value fares seems important, as does the Scottish Government’s commitment to invest in more bus priority measures to encourage more people to use bus 

If we want to offer more choice to transport users in the short term, bus and coach can provide flexible, responsive and quick potential solutions. We look forward to working with Government, local authorities and bus companies to make this happen, as debates on rail reform and longer-term investment in rail and tram continue.  

For our response to the Scottish government’s changes to the ScotRail contract, please see News in Brief and the Scotland Update. 

Meanwhile train performance has been battered by industrial relations, staff shortages, track and signal problems, late new trains and the weather. Ironically the new timetable, and the very welcome 1000 new services that came with it, seems to have been the least of the issues in most areas though for passengers hit by disruption, the issues tend to blur in to one. See our item on disruption for a more detailed picture. 

The best thing the industry can do to help save the planet and offer users a decent choice is run the trains on time. If the trains are electric even better. The only thing that will take some of the sting out of looming fare rises is the return of the reliable railway. In the meantime passengers should claim compensation – even if you end up donating it to charity, make your voice heard! You’ll hear more from our Make Delay Pay campaign again soon. 

Sensibly roadworks tend to get suspended at this time of year as traffic rises and rail engineering works kick off as passenger numbers fall. Wherever and whenever you are travelling over the festive season take care and arrive safely. We are looking forward to making sure the transport user voice is heard loud and clear next year. 

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