• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Scotrail telling people not to use trains. Who is paying for this?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Deltic1961

Member
Joined
30 May 2018
Messages
227
Scotrail keep posting on Twitter that people should not use the trains at all unless the journey is "essential" or you are a key worker.

All well and good, but how can they afford to run the trains almost empty?

Even at the best of times they were in the crap money wise, so who is covering this forced lack of revenue?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Hadders

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
8,276
The Government under an Emergency Measures Agreement. I assume the Scottish Government has a similar scheme to that in the rest of the UK.
 

richa2002

Established Member
Joined
8 Jun 2005
Messages
2,151
Just as a reminder too, the government means we are paying for it.
 

Hadders

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
8,276
Transport Scotland statement.


The Scottish Government has put in place temporary variations to the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper franchises in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This will ensure passenger services can continue to operate on a reduced timetable and in accordance with social distancing measures.

The existing franchise agreements will be temporarily varied for a minimum period of six months. During this time train operators will receive increased payments to cover operating costs, as necessary because of reduced revenues, with a small management fee paid at the end of the variation period and subject to satisfactory performance.

These emergency measures are necessary in order to secure the continued provision of services throughout this period, to allow key workers to get to their workplaces and also allow vital freight trains to operate.
 

Hadders

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
8,276
Written statement from Grant Shapps to the House of Commons.


In these uncertain times, the railway has a vital role to play in ensuring Britain’s key workers can travel and vital supplies are kept moving. My absolute focus is on making sure services continue so that journeys that are vital in tackling this crisis can continue to take place, so today, to make sure our railways stay open, we are providing train operators on franchises let by my Department the opportunity to temporarily transition onto Emergency Measures Agreements.

These agreements will suspend the normal financial mechanisms of franchise agreements, transferring all revenue and cost risk to the government. Operators will continue to run day-to-day services for a small, pre-determined management fee. Companies entering into these agreements will see a temporary suspension of their existing franchise agreement’s financial mechanisms for an initial period of six months, with options for further extension or earlier cancellation as agreed.

Today’s offer will provide greater flexibility to the train operators and the government and make sure the railway can continue to react quickly to changing circumstances and play its part in serving the national interest. It will ensure vital services continue to operate for key workers who are keeping the nation running and that we are able to reinstate a normal service quickly when the situation improves.

In the longer term these agreements will also minimise disruption to the rail sector. The railways have already seen up to a 70% drop in passenger numbers, with rail fares revenue reducing as people increasingly work from home and adopt social distancing, and total ticket sales down by two-thirds from the equivalent date in 2019. Suspending the usual financial mechanisms will not only guarantee that services can be sustained over this difficult period, it will also provide certainty for staff working on the railways, many of whom are working hard every day in difficult conditions to make sure we keep the railway running.

This is not a new model, it is a temporary solution, taking the steps necessary to protect services now in a cost-efficient way, and ensuring current events have as little impact as possible on the railway in the longer term. Allowing operators to enter insolvency would cause significantly more disruption to passengers and higher costs to the taxpayer.

Fees will be set at a maximum of 2 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the Covid-19 pandemic began, intended to incentivise operators to meet reliability, punctuality and other targets. The maximum fee attainable will be far less than recent profits earned by train operators. In the event that an operator does not wish to accept an Emergency Measures Agreement, the Government’s Operator of Last Resort stands ready to step in.

Alongside our focus on keeping the railways open to support key workers, we recognise there will be many who have heeded Government advice and chosen not to travel. We don’t want people to lose money for doing the right thing, so I am also announcing today that passengers will be able to get refunds for Advance tickets they aren’t able to use while the government advises against non-essential travel.

We have agreed with all the train operators that passengers who have already purchased an Advance ticket will be eligible for a refund without any charge. Those holding a season ticket that they no longer wish to use will also be eligible for a partial refund, determined by the amount of time remaining on the ticket. Ticket holders should contact their operator for further details.

Given the significant timetable changes that have put been in place we are also asking operators to use discretion to allow passengers with Advance tickets to travel on an alternative train at a similar time or date if their ticket is technically no longer valid as a result of cancellations, but they still wish to travel.

We are operating in extraordinary times, but today’s announcement will make sure key workers who depend on our railways are able to travel and carry on their vital roles, that hardworking commuters - who have radically altered their lives to combat the spread of coronavirus, are not left out of pocket, and it will provide certainty to the industry’s staff who are still working hard every day to make sure the railway plays its part in tackling this crisis.
 

alangla

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2018
Messages
1,000
Location
Glasgow
Spoke to a friend last night who’s been commuting by train throughout. Apparently zero fares collection or enforcement going on so the trains are basically free. He did say that he has had the train to himself so the message about not travelling has definitely got through
 

duncanp

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2012
Messages
1,883
Location
Birmingham/Smethwick
It is not just Scotrail - practically every other TOC has a similar message.

Yesterday I made a (leisure) journey from Berkhamsted to Birmingham New Street, and the whiteboard at Berkhamsted station said "..please do not pass through the station unless you are a key worker...." I took great pleasure from sticking a methaphorical two fingers up at this notice and carrying on with my journey regardless. As I had already purchased the ticket in advance, I had a contract with the TOC (London North Western) to carry me from Berkhamsted to Birmingham, so if they had tried to prevent me from travelling I would have said "..OK, if I can't travel by train, I'll have a taxi at your expense please.."

But there is no enforcement whatsoever of the "essential journeys only" rule anyway, so an signs to this effect are meaningless, and you can safely ignore them.

There is also no enforcement of the social distancing rules aboard the trains that I have used, apart from the tiresome messages played over the tannoy every bl***y five seconds reminding us to "keep your distance", "wear a face mask", "consider if your journey is essential", "wear clean underwear", "make sure you have brushed your teeth"..." (OK, I made the last two up, but they wouldn't be out of place considering the constant nagging and nannying we are all subjected to when travelling by train these days)


They can afford to run the trains empty because the (UK) government is picking up the bill, but this arrangement is currently only due to last until September.

Non essential shops are re-opening in England tomorrow, and this will no doubt lead to an increase in demand for rail travel, and the TOCs cannot realistically try to prevent this. Demand for rail travel throughout the UK will only continue to increase as more shops, pubs, tourist attractions start to re-open, and when the school holidays start.
 

Hadders

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
8,276
In England it is not against the law to travel by train. That said train companies are discouraging train travel so that social distancing can be observed.

Ticket gates at my local station appear to be manned whenever I pass by (which I do as there is a public right of way running through the station). There is bound to be fewer onboard ticket checks than normal, there is a global pandemic at present and it would not be advisable for staff to be passing through trains checking tickets. The number of passengers travelling is tiny so the revenue loss will be minimal.

I'm not advocating fare evasion but being realistic about the current situation.
 

InOban

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2017
Messages
3,031
Just as the media today are, in England, encouraging people to go shopping, that it's quite safe, the government should be encouraging people to return to public transport, wearing masks of course.
 

route101

Established Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
8,077
Im making a a so called non essential journey on Scotrail this week , just from EK to Glasgow. 6 car 156 , plenty of space. I noticed they took down the timetables on their website, just journey planner.
 

PHILIPE

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Nov 2011
Messages
12,597
Location
Caerphilly
There is a lot of detail including who is paying here

 

route101

Established Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
8,077
Scotrail are upping the service tomorrow. Not on all lines, apart from a few peak additions ,East Kilbride remains hourly , Lanark too.
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
15,886
Location
Manchester
The Scottish Government are effectively funding massive losses at Cal Sleeper and ScotRail. The Welsh Government have made funding available through their TfW Rail Services contract. The UK government are funding quasi-unlimited losses for the 14 contracts managed by the Department. Heathrow are funding GWR's losses on Heathrow Express, by the sound of it. Some money has been made available for Mersyrail and light railways but this is quite thin and will run out. TfL Rail and London Overground have a part from the TfL bailout, which is better but not much. And First Group and Arriva are funding the losses at Hull Trains and Grand Central respectively, which is why they've closed down. I do not know if anyone has offered Eurostar any support but as they were down to only daily services they probably managed to get costs well down. The last thing I don't know is if the Northern Ireland executive have agreed emergency funding for Translink, who were struggling as it was.

To summarise the picture is similar everywhere, the losses are huge and the possibilities are that either they're taxpayer-funded or the services are withdrawn.
 

Carlisle

Established Member
Joined
26 Aug 2012
Messages
3,376
Just as the media today are, in England, encouraging people to go shopping, that it's quite safe, the government should be encouraging people to return to public transport, wearing masks of course.
There’d have to be sufficient station or on train staff to enforce capacity limits on every train throughout its journey as the science behind basic face coverings as a preventative measure isn’t as yet fully proven as I’m aware.
 
Last edited:

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
15,135
Location
Mold, Clwyd
The UK government (ie you and me) are paying for the empty trains on a 6-month agreement with the train companies.
Scotland and Wales may be paying locally but the funds will ultimately come from Westminster, just like the furlough scheme.
It is clearly unsustainable in the long run, and sooner or later Rishi Sunak will wind the scheme down and insist on normal economics starting up again.
The cost is going on the national debt, or out of the railway's regular funding (or both).
Either way we are due for a funding famine when it's over.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
52,451
Location
Yorkshire
But there is no enforcement whatsoever of the "essential journeys only" rule anyway, so an signs to this effect are meaningless, and you can safely ignore them.
Scotland may have more restrictions than England in terms of what travel is allowed, but the terminology "essential travel only" is effectively meaningless as what matters is whether travel is allowed by the legislation (for England, see this thread https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/what-travel-is-currently-allowed-by-the-legislation.204411 but note that relaxations have occurred since the thread was originally created)

We are all encouraged to walk or cycle wherever possible; if this is not possible then then to travel by car if possible and failing that, public transport can be used. Some car drivers conveniently forget that people are encouraged to walk or cycle rather than use their car, while conveniently remembering the part that use of cars is currently deemed preferable to using public transport.

It would not be possible to "enforce" this as there is no way anyone could demand to know if someone had the ability to walk or cycle or has access to a car; from a legislative point of view, there is nothing to "enforce".

As for who is paying for this, the answer is taxpayers.
 

causton

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2010
Messages
5,502
Location
Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
There’d have to be sufficient station or on train staff to enforce capacity limits on every train throughout its journey as the science behind basic face coverings as a preventative measure isn’t as yet fully proven as I’m aware.
ScotRail (and some other TOCs no doubt) are placing the onus on the passenger - if YOU think it is unsafe, then please don't board.
Of course, that will never work as everyone is far too selfish and their journey is more important than everyone else's!
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
15,886
Location
Manchester
Scotland may have more restrictions than England in terms of what travel is allowed, but the terminology "essential travel only" is effectively meaningless as what matters is whether travel is allowed by the legislation
It's plainly not meaningless to most people. It is meaningful because it explains to people that they should adapt their own judgement to the new circumstances. You've made it perfectly clear that you don't want to do that, which is the effect of your declarations that these signs are "meaningless", and that's perfectly legal. But for everyone else, it's plain that it's reasonable to consider their own real need to make any journey.
ScotRail (and some other TOCs no doubt) are placing the onus on the passenger - if YOU think it is unsafe, then please don't board.
Of course, that will never work as everyone is far too selfish and their journey is more important than everyone else's!
Precisely - this is the real reason people are so angry with train operators putting up signs that say things like 'essential travel only' or 'please don't travel by rail for leisure'.
 

mmh

Established Member
Joined
13 Aug 2016
Messages
2,653
Of course, that will never work as everyone is far too selfish and their journey is more important than everyone else's!

This is clearly untrue. One issue with the "lockdown" is that the public have been remarkably compliant with the "rules," both those in legislation and those in guidance masquerading as rules. Probably more so than the authors of them expected. Contrary to what some sections of the media would like to portray, there's been no mass disobedience.
 

causton

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2010
Messages
5,502
Location
Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
This is clearly untrue. One issue with the "lockdown" is that the public have been remarkably compliant with the "rules," both those in legislation and those in guidance masquerading as rules. Probably more so than the authors of them expected. Contrary to what some sections of the media would like to portray, there's been no mass disobedience.

By and large, yes. I am also impressed at how in general people have been abiding by the rules.

However, I have seen photos on multiple occasions of people disregarding the social distancing measures on trains, we all know how busy Blackpool was the other weekend, I saw a photo of a 195 with at least 2/3 of the seats full, people sitting on the "DO NOT SIT HERE" marked seats. They would rather expose themselves to a higher risk of catching the virus than wait an hour for the next train.

It hasn't come up yet as trains are still on the whole very very quiet. But when they start getting busier, that will be the real test as to whether people still obey the rules when it could mean getting to the shops, work, etc later than intended.
 

Bikeman78

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2018
Messages
2,016
ScotRail (and some other TOCs no doubt) are placing the onus on the passenger - if YOU think it is unsafe, then please don't board.
Of course, that will never work as everyone is far too selfish and their journey is more important than everyone else's!
From my observations many key workers are not bothered about keeping two metres apart at work so why would they be bothered on a train? Some examples: M&S foodhall yesterday was busier than I've ever seen it. The bloke at the door was just waving people in. Barely a facemask in sight. Sainsburys staff have no qualms about passing within centimetres of customers. The four blokes doing roadworks near my house today were much closer than two metres apart. Also there were only three vehicles so two travelled in the same lorry cab.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
52,451
Location
Yorkshire
It's plainly not meaningless to most people.
People are confused as to what it means. I think the answer is that it's up to the individual....
It is meaningful because it explains to people that they should adapt their own judgement to the new circumstances.
Yes, the problem is that some train operators are attempting to impose a judgement, and some people seek to judge others, which I believe is an unintended consequence.
You've made it perfectly clear that you don't want to do that, which is the effect of your declarations that these signs are "meaningless", and that's perfectly legal. But for everyone else, it's plain that it's reasonable to consider their own real need to make any journey.
I'm not really sure what you are saying here, but the advice is:

Travel safely during the coronavirus outbreak

You can help control coronavirus and travel safely by:
  • working from home where possible
  • shopping locally and less often
  • considering all other forms of transport before using public transport
  • avoiding the busiest times and routes
  • keeping your distance when your travel - 2 metres apart where possible
  • washing or sanitising your hands regularly
The advice does not state that those without access to cars should consider themselves to have fewer freedoms than those with access to cars, but some train companies are making statements that appear to (or are being interpreted by some people as) suggesting this is the case.

The train companies that handle this best are those that say the above.

The TfL posters (after they were changed a few weeks ago) are spot on for example.

...But when they start getting busier, that will be the real test ...
Indeed and I believe this is is the reason why face coverings are being mandated; I fully expect this to replace the requirement to leave seats empty shortly.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is now recommending the use of face masks where social distancing is not possible.
Although we may see a week or two where both measures are in place, I expect the current position of severe capacity reductions to be over very soon.
From my observations many key workers are not bothered about keeping two metres apart at work....
Society cannot function with 2m social distancing but it's best debated in this thread: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/is-it-time-to-relax-the-2m-social-distancing-guideline-who-guidance-is-1m.204256
 
Last edited:

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
27,569
Location
Yorks
However, I have seen photos on multiple occasions of people disregarding the social distancing measures on trains, we all know how busy Blackpool was the other weekend, I saw a photo of a 195 with at least 2/3 of the seats full, people sitting on the "DO NOT SIT HERE" marked seats. They would rather expose themselves to a higher risk of catching the virus than wait an hour for the next train.

It hasn't come up yet as trains are still on the whole very very quiet. But when they start getting busier, that will be the real test as to whether people still obey the rules when it could mean getting to the shops, work, etc later than intended.

It's more or less accepted that social distancing isn't going to be possible on trains to London during the rush hour as an example, hence why the face mask requirements have come in, so why is a train to Blackpool any different ?
 

_toommm_

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2017
Messages
3,972
Location
Leeds
Sainsburys staff have no qualms about passing within centimetres of customers

But you’re not going to catch the virus is someone merely walks past you - the virus won’t proverbially jump ship and infect you there and then.

Having worked in Waitrose for the last three months whilst my normal job hasn’t been possible, I realised that pretty quickly you can’t function with stringent 2M distancing at all times. Basic tasks such as putting stock out, walking to the tills etc. would take so much longer. We cannot be scared, as a nation, of being within 2M of people.
 

Huntergreed

Established Member
Joined
16 Jan 2016
Messages
1,956
Location
Coach J Seat 39
But you’re not going to catch the virus is someone merely walks past you - the virus won’t proverbially jump ship and infect you there and then.
Try saying that to 99.9% of the British population.
I’m beginning to lose belief that this country is in this situation. It’s almost laughable how obsessed we are with the virus and its even funnier than not one person in cabinet has had the brains to see this.

All lives are equal, but some lives are more equal than others - it’s sadly coming true and what’s worse is the population seem to be accepting, even somewhat enjoying it.
 

causton

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2010
Messages
5,502
Location
Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
It's more or less accepted that social distancing isn't going to be possible on trains to London during the rush hour as an example, hence why the face mask requirements have come in, so why is a train to Blackpool any different ?

There was (and for 75 minutes or so, is) no requirement for facemasks and 3/4 or so of the seats were covered in bright yellow sashes indicating they were not to be used. That is not consistent with the message you have just said.

Not that I disagree with what you have said, sooner or later, it will be inevitable that these measures will have to be adjusted or removed, just after TOCs have been told to implement them...
 

Fisherman80

Member
Joined
29 Apr 2018
Messages
158
This coming Friday I will be making a so called non essential trip from Bradford to Whitehaven to do a spot of fishing,my first trip away since the lockdown began.
Being someone who cannot drive,and has no other option in respect of travelling,I will be travelling guilt free instead of feeling like I am doing something wrong.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top