Transport User Voice – November 2016 – Scotland update
26 October 2016
ScotRail issues, rural transport services, and transport policing – these have been our recent focus in Scotland.
We previously welcomed the £4.4bn that is being invested in Scotland’s railway infrastructure. This includes a rolling programme of electrification and the introduction of new faster, longer and greener trains to increase capacity in the central belt while reducing journey times.
However, in the here and now passengers want the basic timetable delivered on a daily basis.
Despite scoring 88 per cent for punctuality in the June NRPS results, recently ScotRail punctuality has fallen below the targets set out in the franchise agreement.
The Performance Improvement Plan that ScotRail is implementing must bring about improvements in punctuality that is the basic driver of passenger satisfaction.
We have responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a proposed integration of the British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland into Police Scotland.
It asks about a smooth transition towards integration, how to ensure railway policing in Scotland is subject to appropriate oversight by the Scottish Parliament and whether this would maintain the specialist skills, knowledge and experience of railway police officers.
In our response we highlighted the need for a specialist railway function within the broader Police Scotland structure to maintain the specialist skills, knowledge and experience BTP officers and staff have built.
We took part in the Dumfries and Galloway Transport Summit, arranged by the Scottish Government to discuss the role of transport and associated infrastructure to support the economy and local communities.
We know connectivity is important to passengers, so we wanted to consider how Dumfries and Stranraer can be better connected to central Scotland and further afield.
We heard that the feeling of remoteness in rural areas needs to be better understood. We already know how important buses are to communities and the lifeline services which they provide. These cannot be looked at simply in terms of economics, but also in terms of access to health and social care for those especially those without access to a car.
Our Bus Passenger Survey, which is taking place in rural communities including Dumfries, will help give users a voice in this ongoing debate.