February 2012
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Bike/rail in Scotland: the Future : urgent!

You have until Monday 20 Feb  to submit comments on the future of rail – including bike/rail – in the Transport Scotland Rail 2014 Consultation

[Update 14.2.12, 23:40 … The Spokes draft response under ‘More Information’ below has been updated]

  • Frustrated about trying to take your bike by train?
  • Can’t get your bike securely parked at your local station?
  • No decent route to the station?
  • Want European-style ‘bike hubs’ at mainline stations?
  • Other rail issues?

This is your chance to influence what you would like out of Scotland’s railways for years to come – what the Scottish Government should specify when inviting bidders for the next Scotrail franchise in 2014, and what infrastructure should be commissioned from Network Rail.

Please consider making your own submission.  Responses from private individuals carry weight, especially if a good number raise similar issues.

Key Points to consider making, saying why these are important to you:   [the question numbers suggest where in the consultation response form you could make these points]

  • Q28:  All stations should have good quality cycle parking, and this provision should not be subordinated to maximising the number of car parking spaces.
  • Q28: Certain major stations should have European-style “bike hubs” in recognition of the existing high level of cycling to that station and to encourage modal shift.
  • Q32: Trains should have greater cycle carrying capacity.
  • Q40: The franchise terms and key performance indicators should reflect Scottish Government policies to increase levels of walking & cycling (as transport modes as much as leisure activities).

To respond [by Monday 20 Feb]:  Download the consultation form [doc 115k], then…

…type in your comments and return by email as an attachment to:  Rail2014@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk  [we recommend submitting your response as a pdf if you know how to do that, but otherwise any format should be ok]

…or print the form and post to:  Rail2014, Transport Scotland, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HF.

There are a lot of questions in the response form – but it’s fine just to answer those that concern you, even just two or three.

We would appreciate seeing your consultation response, and we would appreciate any comments on the draft Spokes response (which is below).  Please send to Ewan Jeffrey.  Email:  ewan AT navyblue DOT org DOT uk.

 

MORE INFORMATION

For official information:  see the Rail 2014 consultation website.

Spokes information:  You may find it useful to see the draft Spokes response [pdf 124k].  If you look at this, please don’t copy anything word for word – use your own wording.  You may find a bit more in our November pre-consultation posting about this consultation (it also covered the now closed EGIP consultation).

If you don’t want to check out our whole submission, below are some extracts on the important topics above.

Q28. What categories of station should be designated and what facilities should be available at each category of station.

The desire of passengers to cycle to stations should be recognised and encouraged as an important contributor to the Scottish Governments climate change policies. (Also see Q40)

All stations should have good quality cycle links provided into the wider catchment area of the station.

All stations should have good quality cycle parking facilities and the quantity and location of this provision should not be subordinate to maximising the number of car parking spaces.

Certain major stations should be designated as “bike hubs” in recognition of  the either the existing high level of cycling to that station, or to encourage modal shift. Bike hubs should offer secure storage and appropriate ancillary services. There is a current example at Leeds Station and Edinburgh Haymarket would be an appropriate choice for the first one in Scotland.

Lifts should be long enough to accommodate cycles. (The recently installed lifts at Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket, are slightly too short).

Q32. What facilities should be present on a train and to what extent should these facilities vary according to the route served?

Spokes considers that there is not equality of access to the Scotrail services for many legitimate stake-holder groups, including passengers with bicycles, but also other groups such as families with pushchairs and the elderly with wheeled walking aids, because trains are specified with fixed inflexible seating for commuters.

A minimum service provision to be included in the specification for the new Scotrail franchise relating to cycle carriage provision, with cycle capacity specified at two cycles per coach, in a flexible use space. This should apply at all new rolling stock – such as for EGIP – and also be retro applied to the existing fleet.

The blanket ban on the carriage of tandems should be reviewed as, although demand will not be high, their use is very valuable to both families and to support groups for the blind and partially sighted.

Free cycle carriage should continue to be a franchise obligation.

These proposals are consistent with and support current Scottish Government policies on promoting Active Travel:

  • The Scottish Government states that on its website that it is committed to increasing levels of walking & cycling as transport modes and as leisure activities.
  • Scotland’s Transport Policy includes a commitment to “ increase the proportion of short journeys made on foot and on bikes to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce congestion and contribute to a healthier Scotland thus  contributing to the sustainability golden rule to enhance the environment and reduce emissions“.
  • The government’s Cycling Action Plan for Scotland sets a bold target that 10% of all journeys should be by bike by 2020.
  • The National Transport Strategy (adopted in December 2006 and still in force) states “We aim to further increase funding for cycling and walking overall and will place more emphasis on the promotion of them as sustainable forms of transport …focusing on …and the carriage of bicycles on public transport.”

Q40. What environmental key performance indicators should we consider for inclusion in the franchise agreement or the High Level Output Specification?

Key performance indicators should be devised to measure the achievement of the following Scottish Government Active Travel policies:

  • Commitment to increasing levels of walking & cycling as transport modes and as leisure activities.
  • Transport Policy commitment to “ increase the proportion of short  journeys made on foot and on bikes to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce congestion and contribute to a healthier Scotland thus contributing to the sustainability golden rule to enhance the environment and reduce emissions“.
  • Cycling Action Plan for Scotland target that 10% of all journeys should be by bike by 2020.
  • National Transport Strategy statement that  “We aim to further increase funding for cycling and walking overall and will place more emphasis on the promotion of them as sustainable forms of transport …focusing on …and the carriage of bicycles on public transport.

 

 

 

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