Scotrail is currently undergoing public consultations to prepare for its May 2022 unveiling of service changes to reflect the needs of commuters post-pandemic and make Scotrail services ‘Fit For The Future‘.
This comes following Scotrail customers in Highland Perthshire appealing to the transport organisation to re-evaluate its service in the area, specifically in Blair Atholl where very few services run daily.
Scotland’s Railway Managing Director, Alex Hynes, said:
“Scotland’s Railway is committed to delivering a service that is safe, reliable, green, and clean. Our job is to keep people moving and connected to business, leisure, and education while meeting the expectations of our customers.
“The pandemic has changed how people travel across all of Scotland so our services will reflect these varied travel patterns and deliver timetables that are reliable, have enough capacity to meet pre-COVID levels of demand, and are sustainable.
“We are consulting on the timetable changes being proposed and we would welcome the views of our customers.”
The proposed post-pandemic changes to Scotrail services would reduce emissions and decrease the cost to the taxpayer from £30million to £40million annually say Scotrail.
Scotrail also issued figures indicating that prior to the pandemic, seats were lying empty on routes across the country. Of a typical week, 5.5million passengers would complete a journey which translates to 23% of seats being used.
Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey MSP, said:
“Organisations up and down the country are reflecting on how they can provide great customer service while at the same time ensuring their businesses are fit for the future.
“Rail is no different and that is why it is essential ScotRail review changes in travel patterns across Scotland so that timetables best meet demand.
“This consultation exercise offers a real opportunity for customers and businesses to help shape a reliable and responsive timetable change from May 2022.
“I would encourage anyone with an interest to share their views”
Scotrail has also conducted research through Transport Focus to highlight key priorities for customers which they aim to address in the new timetabling.
Customer priorities are improved punctuality and reliability of services.
Robert Samson, Stakeholder Manager, Transport Focus, said:
“The timetable is ScotRail’s basic promise to its passengers, and as passengers, we want a reliable railway that delivers on the promise of the timetable day in and day out.
“The significant improvement in punctuality achieved over the last year must be maintained in the proposed timetable.
“We welcome the opportunity that the public consultation affords to allow passengers who depend on delivery of the timetable to comment and make their views known on the proposals to inform the final content of the timetable, ensuring it is focused on the passenger.”
The consultation period runs from 20th August – 1st October 2021 and further information and link to the survey can be found at: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/about-scotrail/fit-future