RAGES meet with bidders

Rail Action Groups East of Scotlandf (RAGES) have met with some of the bidders preparing their bid for the new ScotRail franchise due to start in April 2015.

Five bidders are currently preparing their bids and RAGES is arranging to talk with each of the bidders. The most recent meeting was with national Express and during the meeting committee members raised the following points, although not all are be able to be addressed by the bidders:

. RAGES hope that the bidder would run the local service from Edinburgh to Berwick.

. Car parking was a problem at Dunbar and at other stations on the North Berwick route.

. Covered cycle racks were required at Dunbar with more of these as they are well used and better access to Dunbar station is sought for cyclists.

. More space on trains for cycles, surf boards and prams and buggies.

. Interchange with local buses could be improved.

. It would be beneficial to all parties if the bidder were to put some money into the building costs of East Linton and Reston Stations as Transport Minister Keith Brown is keen to get additional money from public and private sector towards their costs as his £30m pot will not go all the way to their building.

. As the subsidy for the local service is a key factor in getting the Minister’s approval for the service, bidders could reduce the subsidy with some imaginative diagramming of existing train sets.

This was the second bidder RAGES has met and other meetings are being set up.