MSP welcomes commitment for more cycle spaces on trains

North East Region MSP Liam Kerr led a debate at Holyrood in May on the issue
North East Region MSP Liam Kerr led a debate at Holyrood in May on the issue

A Scottish Conservative MSP has given a cautious welcome to news that more cycle spaces will be introduced on Scotrail trains after lobbying the SNP government to take action.

North East Region MSP Liam Kerr led a debate at Holyrood in May on the issue and tabled parliamentary questions calling for improvements.

This week, in an answer to a parliamentary question, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said that Transport Scotland has reached an agreement with Scotrail to increase the number of spaces.

The operator is also “maximising” on-train cycle storage for 26 refurbished high-speed trains entering service on Inter-City routes next summer, Mr Yousaf said.

Mr Kerr, a keen cyclist who regularly uses trains around the north-east, said that progress would be welcomed but any changes must be sufficient to serve the needs of growing numbers of cyclists.

Previously, cycling organisation Spokes had discovered that Scotrail was rowing back on a commitment to have at least 20 spaces on new Inter City High Speed trains.

He said: “This is a welcome update from the Transport Minister following repeated questions and a debate in parliament that I secured on this issue.

“We should be doing all we can to encourage people to use bikes, particularly in areas like the North East and the Highlands that benefit from cycle tourism.

“Increasing the number of spaces on trains would also encourage more people to commute to work by bicycle.

“I am pleased to hear that Scotrail is looking to maximise the number of cycle-storage spaces on the refurbished high-speed trains.

“However, I will continue to press the Transport Minister to make sure that Scotrail follows through on this.

“I want to see what was originally promised – which was at least 20 spaces on new trains – delivered in full.”