ScotRail could be taken into public ownership by 2020, a new report has said, with the authors claiming the move could lead to average fare cuts of 6.5 per cent across the service.
A study produced for the TSSA union said if the rail service was nationalised “there is every reason to believe a publicly-run ScotRail could achieve a greater level of service than its predecessors”.
The report, which was produced by the Common Weal think tank, was published ahead of a meeting between TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes and Transport Secretary Humza Yousaf.
Scottish rail passenger services have been run by train operating companies for the past two decades, the report said. It added that the operators of the ScotRail franchise had made “consistent annual operating profits of £10 to 20 million”.
ScotRail was described as being “one of the most highly subsidised franchises in the UK”. And it said the “overall picture that emerges” of the operating company making profits “obtained on the basis of vast public subsidy and limited amounts of at-risk investment” appears to be “hard to justify”.