*This article was first published in the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper on the 5th of February 2019*
Scotland got their Six Nations Championship off to a great start in Murrayfield on Saturday, romping home to victory against Italy in a convincing 33-20 win.
The popularity of the Six Nations continues to grow, and it’s always great to see Murrayfield at capacity, filled with thousands of Scotland fans who were fortunate enough to get tickets and brave enough to wrap up and spend a few hours cheering on Greig Laidlaw and the excellent hat-trick from Blair Kinghorn.
Recent figures indicate that 40 per cent of people
Big sporting events like the World Cup always drive up sales across Edinburgh’s watering holes and the Six Nations is providing another welcome rise following the post-festive slump, which can only be a good thing for the industry when Scotland is losing, on average, one pub a week at present.
The downside of this though, as a brief scroll through Twitter will testify, is using ScotRail to get in or out of the city before or after the match.
It can’t come as a surprise to ScotRail that Six Nations weekends are going to be busy and they need to get better at managing this. On Saturday, there were reports of just two carriages to Edinburgh on some services from Fife and to Glasgow, resulting in overcrowding on the trains and long waits on the platform for many.
Whilst Scotland hosts world-class sport, ScotRail only provides cattle class transport. It’s simply not good enough.