Our tweet about Transport Scotland’s bike/rail cuts is now easily our most popular ever, with 95 retweets already
Update 28 March: nearly 150 retweets and many appalled comments (a selection below). Also in the national press…
For the full story about severe cuts to West Highland bike/rail bookable capacity, and the bike storage downgrade on Edinburgh/Glasgow main line, see our original article, just a week ago.
Click here for our tweet – see the current number of retweets and, if you agree with us, add your own!!
It’s clearly time for the Transport Minister, Derek Mackay MSP, to have a re-think.
Several of the retweets are from SNP supporters who obviously think their own government is making a big mistake. One tweeted his MSP saying, “This seems to conflict with SNP environmental policies. Can you ask Transport Scotland to reconsider?”
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Ask your Holyrood election candidates by email and at hustings what they will do right now as we understand that work on the interiors of the new and refurbished trains is likely to start soon
- After the Holyrood election, your new MSPs can be contacted at www.writetothem.com
- If you have contacts in the West Highlands, inform them and ask them to make a fuss too – the tourism implications are considerable.
- For more bike/rail info, see our rail page.
WHO IS BEHIND THE DECISION?
Several people who commented on twitter blamed ScotRail, but in fact the main motivation lies with the Scottish Government and their transport agency, Transport Scotland. Transport Scotland wishes to maximise the seat-count headline numbers which get quoted in the press, even though this continues the ridiculous situation off-peak where it is hard to get on an otherwise lightly loaded train with a pram, push chair, bike, etc because of the lack of adequate flexible spaces – for which we unsuccessfully campaigned at any earlier stage.
WHAT POLITICIANS SAY + PRESS ARTICLES
Replies & articles forwarded to us by Spokes members who have contacted their MSPs or local newspaper
- The Ross-shire Journal 21.3.16
- The Oban Times, 24.3.16
- The Herald 29.3.16 online print Readers letters 30.3.16
- Alison Johnstone MSP
- Sarah Boyack MSP and her letter to the Minister
- Jim Eadie MSP and his reply from the Minister
- Letter from a member to all(?) his MSPs. Reply from Alison McInnes MSP Reply from Shona Robison MSP. Reply from Alex Johnstone MSP
- Transport Scotland to a member. Reply from her to TS
- ScotRail to a member
WHAT THE PUBLIC THINKS
In addition to the huge retweet support, many people have commented, including the following. There are now many more tweeted comments, which we have not had time to add.
@DerekMackaySNP @Davytmsp V bad news for Small Isles tourism. No cars allowed on isles, so visitors bring bikes. Also similar tweet from @VisitSmallIsles.
- @glasgowsheep 3 of us used this line last summer to cycle W.Isles. poor decision for tourism aswell as environment
- @researchdreams Really shocked by this. For health, tourism and sustainable travel we need more bike spaces on trains!
- @scot_bob hmmm yet SNP rep at hustings in Glasgow saying
@theSNP advocate active travel ehhhhh no
@uartlach This seems to conflict with SNP environmental policies. Can you ask Transport Scotland to reconsider?
- @DavidStewartMSP Thanks I’m looking into this
- @IslaAitken This is an utterly ridiculous policy. How do we encourage tourism and sustainable travel?
- @LesleyRiddoch Only 2 bikes on oban line in future — instead of 6? No way. [Spokes note: cut is from 6 bookable spaces to 2 bookable + 2 unbookable if a wheelchair space if empty]
- @John_Lauder If correct we have real problem bringing people to
#Argyll for Caledonia Way #sustrans
- @EdinNightRide This is insane!
- @ZenBike_UK Cutting Active Travel space on trains doesn’t sit well with reducing Air Passenger Duty to encouraging tourism.
- @Alan_Kimber Folks, do all you can to ensure lots of people can still bring their bikes to
#fortwilliam by #train
- @JaneCulpanQMU Need more bike spaces not fewer
- @WhooshMTB Rubbish & a massive step backwards. A car-less biking trip up the West coast of Scotland is high up my to do list!
- @CityCycling So narrow minded and short sighted. So much for integrated transport and facilitating sustainable modes
- @johnfitzg Want to fit your bike on a train? Might be worth asking
@DerekMackaySNP and @transcotland for a rethink/consultation
- @RobertaBuchan1 Thats a big cut! And on a line no doubt in high demand spring onwds!
- @cocteautriplets Class 158s already standard on Far North Lines to Wick, Thurso and Kyle. Crummy provision as standard
- @HollingMark This is NOT a useful development. Need space for proper integrated transport & sustainable holiday options
- @GreenBlueSpace We should add, not cut bike spaces! To foster a
@GreenerScotland (And Emissions Reduction Targets)…
- @BL6John Need more
#cycle space on trains, not less! @DerekMackaySNP @ScotRail @FergusEwingSNP @VisitScotland @drewhendrySNP
- @ibikeEdinburgh NOOO! Stressful enough already bringing bikes on trains. Is brompton sponsoring this?
- @suzanne_meade This is not progress, long commute train/bike and tourist/leisure cycling adversely impacted!
- @ontwoplanks Not just cycling concern! Those with children, large bags, other sports equipment all lose out when space reduced
#Scotland #Bonkers #Tourism #Fail
- @Addy_Pope Short-sighted approach that will hurt commuters and tourism
@ScotGovFM No #ScotSpirit here @VisitScotland when cutting bike spaces on #Oban line + on GLQ 2 EDB
- @AlanJ955 Forward thinking (NOT)
- @Ken_J_Murray That’s rubbish. When I went Glasgow to Oban, they took 6 bikes & had to bus another 4 they’d overbooked. Need more spaces !
- @ScotlandPhotos can’t begin to think what the motivation for this is!
- @SomervellD This is NOT ANY GOOD, please change to permit more cycles
Here it is – our most popular ever tweet …
[shown here as at March 17th – click above to see latest]
#BikeRail space to be cut. Pls help!–>http://www.spokes.org.uk/2016/03/cuts-coming-to-train-bike-spaces/ … Ed-Glasg down & slash from 6 to 2 bookable for #Oban