26 October 2009

Timetables are on the right track

An initial review by Transport Scotland has revealed that new improved train timetables across East Scotland have been a hit with passengers, with many services seeing a substantial increase in users - some by almost 30%.

Launched in December 2008, the new timetables are operated by ScotRail and cover the east of Scotland, from Edinburgh, through Fife and Dundee to Aberdeen and the North East. The timetables were redesigned to improve journey times and connections on key routes serving the major cities, as well as to enhance links for local stations. This has included additional early morning and evening peak services for commuters, extra trains between cities and services timed to provide better connections for onward train and bus journeys.

The most popular revision is additional commuter services on the Inverurie to Aberdeen route which, coupled with improved facilities at Inverurie Station, has generated a boost of 29% in passengers.

New hourly services between Edinburgh and Perth have also been well received with a 26% increase in users, and the new twice hourly service between Edinburgh and Dundee has also been successful with a 4% uplift in passenger numbers.

Additional rail services at Leuchars have also increased passengers by 10% and 2% on the Leuchars to Dundee / Edinburgh services respectively. In addition to the passenger growth to and from Leuchars station itself, more passengers are using the station to travel on to St Andrews where the installation of ticketing and new passenger information systems at St Andrews is providing passengers with better planning, connections and booking facilities.

The report compares passenger journey figures between January and September 2009 to the same period the year before.

Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said: “The new timetables are one of a number of rail initiatives to support our aim of connecting communities and making Scotland more accessible.

“These additional services have made it easier for people to make the switch to a more sustainable, greener mode of transport and we are delighted at the response by the travelling public.”

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “These are impressive figures, delivered against a background of more services and seats, and improved punctuality and reliability figures.

“We will continue to work with industry partners to grow Scotland’s railways and deliver more improvements.”

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