Welcome to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce website

Loading
<< February 2012 >>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829   

Press Releases

Please use the calendar on the left to search our archives.
Thank-you.

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT MUST GRASP OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE OUR RAILWAY WORK FOR SCOTLAND

[ 20-02-2012 ]

Responding to Transport Scotland’s consultation on the future of Scottish rail services, Rail 2014, Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) have today called for the development of a long term strategic vision for Scotland’s rail network, freeing up the franchise holder to respond positively to customer demand.  SCC have also called for the creation of a new franchise to build on the success of the Caledonian Sleeper service and are fighting to protect through running cross-border services serving the East, North East and North of Scotland.  Commenting on the submission of SCC’s evidence, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
 
“The forthcoming tendering process for the next ScotRail franchise and the devolution to the Scottish Parliament of powers over Network Rail’s activities in Scotland has presented a unique opportunity to shape the future of Scotland’s rail industry.  Scotland’s businesses believe that connectivity is central to developing a successful economy and the Scottish Government must seize this opportunity to get our rail network right with both hands.
 
“We believe that there two key actions that government needs to take in order to get the most out of our rail industry.  Firstly it must award a long term franchise of at least 12 years in order to allow the franchise holder the time to invest and to secure the rewards from that investment.  This is particularly true at a time when a significant part of Scotland’s rail network will be experiencing disruption during the construction phase of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project.  Secondly, the franchise must allow the franchisee the freedom to respond to customer demand and to achieve the best match between services and demand.  At present, too much resource is being deployed to service assets for which there is little customer need.
 
“We believe that there is a bright future for the Caledonian Sleeper service as a distinct franchise and that the resources that the UK and Scottish Governments have set aside for the improvement of the sleeper fleet must be invested now to ensure a better standard of accommodation and service for customers.
 
“There is also a cast iron case for the retention of through-running cross border rail services from Inverness, and Aberdeen through to London.  These are vital services for business and tourism and create connectivity between a wide array of cities, towns and communities across the United Kingdom.
 
“The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland need to respond to this consultation with a clear vision of how Scotland’s rail network can send a strong message to the world about our economic ambitions and how our railways can play a key role in improving business competitiveness right across the country.” 


CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COPY OF SCC'S RESPONSE

back