Fit for the Future - ScotRail Proposed Timetable Changes May 2022 Consultation - ASLEF Response

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Scotrail unveiled plans for a new timetable from May 2022 and launched a public consultation on the proposed changes.

You can respond to the consultation by 01/10/21 here: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/about-scotrail/fit-future

Having had a chance to view the proposed timetable changes for May 2022, do you think the changes will affect your future rail journeys positively or negatively?

Negatively

Please expand on your response here.

  1. We do not believe it is right for rail services to be cut, particularly as the economy is looking to recover from the pandemic and the government is looking to achieve net zero emissions by 2045.
     
  2. Removing the provisions of a green alternative for travel at a time when the people of Scotland need rail services to be a viable and easy to use mode of travel is in our view shortsighted.
     
  3. ScotRail has outlined how the improvements in 2019 have made rail a viable public transport mode in Angus, Moray and Aberdeenshire for the first time since the 1960s, ScotrRail then concedes that there has not yet been sufficient time for people to adjust their travel behaviours and shift to rail from other modes of transport. Yet ScotRail is now planning to cut services based on pre pandemic and pandemic usage and costs. These cuts will harm the ability for rail to be seen as the appealing green alternative mode of travel in Scotland.
     
  4. We have COP26 being hosted in Scotland this year the timing of cuts to a greener mode of transport is poorly time. There is an erroneous claim in the Fit for the Future briefing, which states that cutting the services will help to reduce emissions, completely overlooking that the emissions can be reduced if more is done to encourage the modal swap from private cars to trains by running reliable and regular services. The modal swap can be achieved in part by having a regular, affordable and accessible rail service in Scotland.
     
  5. We are concerned that the ScotRail is looking to cut services, which will put rail staff jobs at risk at a time when the focus should be on looking to recover and grow the railway sector. The cut in services will not make rail a more attractive mode of green transport in Scotland, as there will be less staff available to assist passengers, which in turn will affect the most vulnerable passengers.
     
  6. We are also concerned that Abellio ScotRail is looking to cut services shortly before the current franchise contract ends, leaving the Scottish government with the task of taking on rail services in Scotland shortly after the previous operating company has cut services, leading to the impacts being registered as the franchise ends.