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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20955: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 14 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action the Scottish Government is taking to improve rail services on the east coast.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 28 January 2019

The Scottish Government is supporting a range projects to improve services on the East Coast.

We are committed to introducing two new stations at East Linton and Reston to support accessibility for growing communities.

With £475 million being invested in ScotRail’s rolling stock, and the ongoing introduction of new Class 385 and 125 Intercity trains, this will allow further strengthening of services from both the Borders and Fife circle to Edinburgh. This has been made possible by the Scottish Government decision to retain 22 extra trains to increase both services and seating capacity.

Additionally the introduction of the Class 125 High-speed trains ScotRail have increased capacity operating an additional 20,000 seats a day on the Aberdeen/Dundee – Edinburgh/Glasgow corridor.

We are aware performance across the country, not least the East Coast services, is below the challenging but achievable punctuality standards we expect and demand from the ScotRail Alliance. The Scottish Government has now used contractual levers within the ScotRail Franchise Agreement to issue a formal notice requesting ScotRail submit a Remedial Plan. This plan is due to be submitted on the 18th February 2019.

Cross border services on the East Coast are the responsibility of the UK Government.