Commenting on the new start for ScotRail under Scottish Government ownership, Transform’s rail spokesperson Paul Tetlaw said:
“We welcome the new start for ScotRail from 1 April with a much closer working relationship between the different parts of the railway and with the Scottish Government.
“This should allow better and more focused long term planning to ensure that new infrastructure and rolling stock investment goes hand in hand. To achieve the very welcome Government target of reducing car mileage by 20% the railway needs to double the number of passengers who were travelling before the pandemic.
“It is a sad fact that in terms of attracting people back to the railway ScotRail currently sits at the bottom of the league table of UK operators. Government messaging has certainly contributed to this and we have seen a dramatic fall in public transport use as many passengers reverted to their cars. This is surely exactly the opposite of the direction of travel we should be following in response to climate change and the health impacts of excessive car use.
“It’s now time for a concerted rail recovery strategy to win back lost passengers and bring new ones to the railway. Scotland’s Railway has much to offer with its world renowned rural routes and vital connections into and between our towns and cities. New and consistent marketing promotions are required aligned with the use of the best trains for the individual routes accompanied by the top class on-board service to show off the best of Scotland.
“We now look forward to witnessing the government and Transport Scotland empower ScotRail to get on with the job.”