Transport Scotland has today launched a consultation into how the country will operate its rail services beyond 2014, when existing agreements with Network Rail and Scotrail come to an end.
The consultation will consider issues affecting the delivery of rail services in Scotland including rail fares, reliability improvements, train and station facilities, and environmental factors. The consultation closes in February 2012.
Consultation proposals include reducing support for the Caledonian Sleeper service and possible consolidation of low-use stations. Transport Scotland highlighted that 37 of Scotland’s 350 rail stations have fewer than 20 passengers per week.
However, the latest figures show demand for ScotRail services increasing by 25.5% in the past seven years, with demand expected to grow with the Borders Rail project coming online in 2014. A total of 78M passenger journeys a year are made on ScotRail services, with a further 6M passenger journeys made across the border to and from England.