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Friday, December 8, 2023

Treble passenger numbers and reduce car trips, says John Launder of Scotland’s Railway

John Lauder, former CEO of Sustrans, is now in post permanently with Scotland’s Railway following a 12-month secondment, and is leading the development of ‘A Railway for Everyone’, an accessibility strategy to be published later this autumn.

A Railway for Everyone straddles accessibility and sustainable transport and focuses on how people get to, and move around in, stations.

Scotland’s Railway’s recently published its Sustainable Travel to Stations (STtS) strategy, aiming to increase the number of journeys passengers make between local neighbourhoods and stations by healthy and sustainable modes of transport such as walking, wheeling, cycling, on-demand transport and the bus.

After nearly two decades leading the development of active travel policy, funding, and delivery at Sustrans, John has developed STtS in collaboration with key stakeholders. This includes local authorities, regional transport partnerships, bus and coach operators, connectivity commissions, and planning bodies.

John Lauder

John said: “I am looking forward to working with our train operating colleagues, particularly ScotRail, focusing on a seamless journey from front door to seat. By better integrating Scotland’s stations into the communities they serve, we not only improve access to public transport, but we also increase the opportunity to travel sustainably and improve safety and social justice.”

“Getting to the station is, of course, only one part of the challenge, ticket prices and fare boundaries, are also an element. But in terms of accessibility, it’s crucial that the entire journey – leaving home to sitting down – is considered.”

To support this aspect, John has developed a practitioner’s guide for those working in local government, regional planning, and transport, as well as community groups operating near stations, and the wider rail industry.

Scott Prentice, ScotRail’s head of business development, said: “Supporting a more integrated transport network in Scotland is a key focus for ScotRail because we know that journeys don’t start and end at the train station.

“We’ve delivered a massive investment in station access and transport integration in recent years as we work to support environmentally-friendly travel across Scotland, well beyond the end of the railway tracks.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Sustrans, and partner organisations that link modes of transport together, such as local authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships, bus companies, and bike hire firms to make it much easier for people to choose an integrated sustainable journey.”

The practical guide is designed to help with assessing, planning, and delivering properly integrated railway stations. It is adaptable and will support meaningful dialogue for those considering stations, transport planning, and how Scotland moves towards an integrated transport system.

Image credit: Network Rail

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