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Comment on public sector bid for ScotRail franchise

Published 23 August 2018 by Transform Scotland

Commenting on today’s announcement by the Scottish Ministers that they would support a public sector bid for the ScotRail franchise, Transform Scotland’s rail campaigner Paul Tetlaw commented:

“Rail services in Scotland perform much better than many other parts of the UK — contrary to the view put forward by some.

“That’s not to say we wouldn’t wish to see improvements, especially where the train competes directly with the car. This is where the Scottish Government should focus its attention and fund infrastructure improvements.

“A good example is the Highland Main Line to Inverness and the parallel A9 road. Whilst the road is benefiting from £3bn expenditure, the railway remains largely single track and Victorian in nature. That’s no way to make ‘the train quicker than the car between cities’ — which is the Government’s stated policy.

“No amount of tinkering with the structure of the railway in Scotland will improve services if the Government continues to plough billions into building new roads while failing to similarly fund the railway.”