Transport User Voice – October 2018 – Scotland – future priorities for rail

28 September 2018

Working to promote passengers’ top priorities for rail services in Scotland

Transport Focus has worked closely with Transport Scotland, ScotRail, Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road to inform the High-Level Output Specification process (what the Scottish Government sets out that it wants to be achieved by railway activities) over the next Control Period 2019-2024. We have used evidence from our passenger research, notably the National Rail Passenger Survey, to identify passengers’ priorities for improvement.

It is important for plans and timescales to be widely published and explained, so passengers can understand what is being specified (bought) by Government on their behalf and how their expectations will be met. In broad terms, passengers’ priorities include:

  • improved services – faster journey times, strengthened commuter services and effective connections between cities and regions
  • improved capacity – optimum use of network and on-train capacity through high levels of performance
  • improved value – efficiency and value for money for the taxpayer, the fare-payer and the rail freight customer
  • effective integration – between rail operators and rail infrastructure management, and between rail and other transport modes.

ScotRail franchise
Transport Focus has been part of a working group looking at the prospect of a public sector bidder for future rail franchises in Scotland. Ministers have since confirmed a public sector body will be able to bid for the next ScotRail franchise should it wish to do so.

In making this announcement it was confirmed by ministers that it will be important for any public sector bidder to have the appetite to bid; the capability and capacity to see the bid through; and the ability and resources to make the franchise a success. Future Scottish rail franchise competitions will continue to be fair and transparent, giving equal treatment to all bidders whether from the public or private sectors.

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