Leader comment: ScotRail needs joined-up thinking

Train operator Scotrail is considering allowing fewer bicycles on some services.

Train operator Scotrail is considering allowing fewer bicycles on some services.

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They are two of the greatest and longest-running problems facing society today. First, it is now generally agreed by the majority of scientists who have examined the problem that the earth’s temperature is rising, and global warming is happening caused by man’s production of greenhouse gases, and that there are many unwelcome environmental consequences, such as more extreme weather..

The second is widely seen as the greatest health problem facing developed countries, and that is obesity. Being significantly overweight has many health drawbacks including increased likelihood of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. One of the biggest factors in our propensity towards obesity is not enough exercise. A study by the British Heart Foundation found that more than 20 million people in the UK are physically inactive. One of the key factors in driving down a major part of greenhouse gas production – the emissions from cars – is to have an efficient, attractive and useful public transport system so large numbers of people can be moved at a relatively small environmental cost. Railways are seen as a big part of that.

A great way to exercise to vastly improve health – and at the same time travel while producing zero emissions – is to cycle to your destination.

The problems for a lot of people about using the train is that there is usually a further journey to be done once the passenger has arrived at the station, either by foot, or motorised vehicle – or bicycle.

It would seem then to make no sense whatsoever to reduce the number of useful bicycle spaces on some trains in Scotland. Hopefully ScotRail will see sense soon.

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