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Goodbye Abellio - time to bring ScotRail into public ownership immediately and permanently - Cortes

18 December 2019

TSSA has called for ScotRail to brought into public ownership immediately and permanently after news that Abellio will lose the ScotRail franchise three years early

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Manuel Cortes said, “After years of misery for passengers and our members, I am delighted that Michael Matheson has finally heeded our union's campaign and decided to end Abellio’s franchise of ScotRail. Abellio’s running of Scotland’s railways has been a textbook example of what is wrong with the franchise system. In the early years of the franchise Abellio cut staff to the bone in pursuit of profit and Scotland’s passengers have paid the price ever since. Abellio have set records in poor service, poor punctuality and missing targets.

But Transport Secretary Matheson must go further. Instead of waiting until 2022, he should end Scotland’s both rail passengers’ misery and the Abellio franchise now. Only by running Scotland’s railways in public ownership can our taxpayers and passengers see the value for money they deserve.

We all know that the franchise system is broken. Another franchising exercise such as Matheson is talking about is a total waste of money. It might return a public sector operator, but it could also easily return another privateer who will again put profits ahead of our passengers – just like Abellio.

Instead of wasting millions of pounds of public money running another franchising exercise the Transport Secretary should take the bold step of bringing ScotRail into public ownership immediately and permanently – and dare Boris Johnson to stop him!

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