Scottish Labour to vote on public ownership for railways

ScotRail's performance has come under increased scrutiny. Picture: Getty
ScotRail's performance has come under increased scrutiny. Picture: Getty
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Scottish Labour members are to vote on proposals to take railways into public ownership at the party’s conference.

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The performance of ScotRail and current operator Abellio has come under increased scrutiny in recent months and a poll showed a majority of Scots backed public ownership.

In December, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf met with passenger groups, unions and political parties to discuss options and said formal engagement would begin in the new year to look at creating a public sector bid for future ScotRail franchises.

A motion at the Scottish Labour conference in Perth next weekend calls on party members to support a campaign for the cancellation of the current rail franchise and replace it with public ownership.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “Passengers in Scotland are paying over the odds for overcrowded, late running trains. There’s a better way to run the railways in Scotland and that is with a People’s ScotRail.

“The current set-up doesn’t provide the best possible value for money for passengers in Scotland. That’s why Scottish Labour supports a publicly owned People’s ScotRail which will mean a better deal for commuters.

“We need a public transport system that puts passengers first and the case for a People’s ScotRail gets more compelling by the week. It works for other countries like the Netherlands, France and Germany and there is no reason it can’t work here.”