What does the UK rail reform mean for Scotland?

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A NEW rail reform has been proposed which will come into effect in 2023, it is said to be the biggest shakeup since the 1990s.

In the William Shapps Plan for Rail, the UK government will be creating a rail company called Great British Railways (GBR).

This means that the railways will be controlled by the UK government again, they say that this will mean there is a “clear leadership” and “will make decision making easier.”

Scotrail - Transport News Scotland
In Scotland, GBR will be doing the same as what they are doing in the rest of Britain but Scotrail will still be running their trains.

The UK government has said: “A new public body, Great British Railways, will run and plan the rail network, own the infrastructure, and receive the fare revenue.

“It will procure passenger services and set most fares and timetables.

“This will bring the whole system under single, national leadership with a new brand and identity, built upon the famous double arrow.

“This will mark the end of a quarter century of fragmentation.”

Train routes - Travel News Scotland
GBR will be in control of the timetables and routes of the trains but Scotrail will still be running them.

One of the most talked-about aspects of the new GBR is the flexible season tickets.

These are made for people who will only be using the train 2 or three times a week.

This will be useful for people after the pandemic as more people are working from home a lot of the time.

Marie, a Dundee University student said about the flexible season tickets: “It makes a bit more sense and it makes it easier than buying tickets every day.

“It will help people save money as well.”

Train - Travel News Scotland
The flexible season tickets will be useful for people who travel by train 2 or 3 times a week.

Linda, a passenger at Queen Street Station also commented on the flexible season tickets she said: “I guess it might be more practical especially in Covid times as it will reduce the number of people you come in contact with compared to five times a week.

“It may be easier for some people as well because they don’t have to travel and get tickets every day they ride the train.

“If it was up to me I would probably prefer the flexible ticket as well just because I don’t have to come in five times a week.

“I think that having a normal season ticket might be a bit difficult for some people because they have to travel far and might not use the train daily.”

The flexible tickets are supposed to come on sale from July 21, 2021.

The flexible tickets give people 8 days of traveling by train on any 28 day period.

These tickets are supposed to become available from the 21st of June 2021.

Another thing that the GBR reform is planning to do is have more ticket options but show you the best and cheapest ticket options of tickets for your journey.

Many people at Glasgow Central Station commented saying that they thought this was a “good idea” and would make traveling by train “a lot easier”.

However, the prices of the new GBR railway have not yet been revealed.

The government has spent over £12 billion to keep the trains running during the pandemic which has lead to speculation about higher train prices.

Some people also branded the train reform “pointless”, as they believe that the trains are “fine as they are”.