Yestermonths in Parliament
Question S4W-11774: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 07/12/2012
To ask the Scottish Government how many rail services between (a) Glasgow and Inverness and (b) Edinburgh and Inverness will have a 17-minute reduction in journey time from 9 December 2012; on what days and at what times these services operate, and what percentage of all services between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Inverness this represents.
Answered by Keith Brown (24/12/2012): The tables [on the Scottish Parliament website] show details of the rail services operating between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Inverness which have journey time reductions which were introduced in the Winter 2012 timetable on 9 December 2012. In answer to your question, table 2 details one Sunday service which has a 17 minute reduction. In finalising the timetable changes we have also delivered another Sunday service which is 18 minutes faster. The tables also give the information you requested in S4W-11775 (an almost identical question) and table 5 shows that we have improved journey times for 70% of all services operating over seven days between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Inverness. More than a third of services are now more than 5 minutes faster. Together with the 2 extra services, each way, delivered in December 2011, these journey time improvements complete phase one of the Highland Main Line improvements project. Phase 2 will deliver further journey time improvements and extra services between 2014 and 2019 as specified in the High Level Output Specification (HLOS) published on 21 June 2012.
(Details of the changes shown in the tables referred to were shown in the January 2013 newsletter.)
Question S4W-11804: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/12/2012
To ask the Scottish Government when the new rolling stock required to deliver journey time improvements on the Highland main line will be introduced.
Answered by Keith Brown (24/12/2012): Bidders of the new ScotRail franchise will be asked to set out their strategy for procuring, leasing, cascading and refurbishing rolling stock. As part of the specification for the new franchise, bidders will also be asked to demonstrate how they will improve the comfort and suitability of trains operating on longer distance routes such as the Highland Main Line. The first phase of the Highland Main Line improvements has been completed delivering two extra trains per day each way from December 2011 and journey time improvements of up to 17 minutes from December 2012. Network Rail is expected to deliver a report on proposals for phase two by summer 2013.
Question S4W-12292: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2013
To ask the Scottish Government how many road users it expects will switch to use rail services from Conon Bridge when the station reopens.
Answered by Keith Brown (22/01/2013): It is estimated that 7% of the 40,000 predicted annual passenger journeys from/to Conon Bridge Station would result from passengers transferring from road to rail. This equates to 2,800 journeys switching from road to rail when Conon Bridge station reopens on 8 February 2013.
Question S4W-12655: Dennis Robertson, Aberdeenshire West, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2013
To ask the Scottish Government how it can improve connectivity and reduce waiting times between railway stations on the Inverness to Aberdeen line and the rest of the country.
Answered by Keith Brown (19/02/2013): Transport Scotland is working closely with Network Rail and ScotRail to introduce service enhancements on the Aberdeen to Inverness route this year. Further service and infrastructure enhancements are planned during the next control period which runs from 2014 to 2019. These enhancements will improve connectivity and waiting times.
Question S4W-12852: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/02/2013
To ask the Scottish Government whether ... Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness rail improvement works have been accelerated in the Infrastructure Investment Plan 2011: Updated Programme Pipeline (January 2013) compared with the Infrastructure Investment Plan 2011 as a result of the £394 million in additional capital resources allocated in the 2012 Autumn Statement.
Answered by Nicola Sturgeon (04/03/2013): Highland Main Line Rail Improvements - the first phase of the project has been completed delivering two extra passenger trains per day each way from December 2011 and journey time improvements of up to 18 minutes between Inverness and the central belt from December 2012. Phase 2 of the project will deliver further improvements to passenger journey times and service frequency and more efficient freight operations between 2014 and 2019.
(This was part of a much longer question and answer, most of which referred to the A9 and A96 improvement works.)
Question S4O-01956: Bob Doris, Glasgow, SNP, asked in committee
To ask the Scottish Government to provide an update on the progress to retender the franchise to operate rail passenger services in Scotland.
Answered by Keith Brown (27/03/13): The retendering of the franchise to operate rail passenger services in Scotland is proceeding according to the arrangements laid out before the Parliament on 6 December 2012. It will begin in summer 2013 for a handover on 31 March 2015 at the end of financial year 2014-15.