Friday 25 Aug 2006
STATION CLOSURES NOT ON THE AGENDA
- Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Passengers using Scotland's 23 least-used stations were reassured by Network Rail today that the company has no plans to close their stations.
Reports of planned station closures followed the launch of a consultation document yesterday about the future of Scotland's railways. Scotland's draft Route Utilisation Strategy unveiled more than 40 options for easing congestion and enhancing the network in Scotland.
Route Director, David Simpson, explained: "Our consultation is asking questions and offering more than 40 solutions - but station closures are not among them.
"We're looking for the best way forward for Scotland's railway; we're presenting people with the facts, and asking them their views. The Route Utilisation Strategy that is being co-ordinated by Network Rail has no plans or powers to close stations; it is a factual review of the railway - including station use.
"Many stations in Scotland are lightly used, this does NOT imply a threat of closure; on the contrary it often underlines the important role played by the railway in connecting rural communities, especially in Highlands."
Far from advocating closure of stations, the trend in Scotland is for growing the railway. Since 1978 a total of 64 stations has opened in Scotland - 13 of these in the past ten years - whilst four have closed, the last one being Errol (Tayside) in 1985.
David Simpson continued: "More than 90% of Scotland's trains have run on time for the past seven months, our railway is enjoying record levels of investment by Network Rail and third parties and this cross-industry review presents more than 40 options for accommodating forecast growth of 30% in the next ten years. Scotland's railway is growing, not shrinking."
The consultation on the draft strategy will last for 12 weeks. Responses will inform further refinement and reassessment of the 40 or so proposed options. The final document will be published next Spring.
Network Rail is leading the cross-industry process to produce the Route Utilisation Strategy for Scotland and is closely involving partners including Transport Scotland and First ScotRail.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
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