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Manuel Cortes calls for Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to resign over "licence to fail" handed to ScotRail

11 October 2018

Responding to news that the SNP government has handed ScotRail a 'licence to fail' until June 2019, TSSA leader Manuel Cortes has called for Transport Secretary Matheson to resign.

Cortes said, “It’s the job of the government to look after the needs of Scottish taxpayers and hard-working passengers by enforcing the terms of the franchise agreement. Instead Matheson’s waived the franchise performance levels for a year, giving the company carte blanche to fail. Minister Matheson should be roasted at Holyrood. The clue is in his job title “Transport Minister”. If he doesn’t want to live up to that job, he should do the decent thing and resign.”


Colin Smyth (South Scotland) (Scottish Labour): To ask the Scottish Government whether it will list each of the changes that have been made to the (a) breach benchmarks and (b) committed obligation on transparent reporting set out in the ScotRail franchise since April 2015; what the reason was for each change; when the changes were made; who was made aware of these, and what action was taken to place details of each in the public domain.


Michael Matheson: All of the Performance Levels set out in the Franchise Agreement remain unchanged. The effect of the waiver granted means that the Scottish Government has agreed not to enforce compliance with the contractual Improvement Plan Performance Level and Breach Performance Level for the duration of the waiver period, on the condition that performance does not fall more than 1% below the Improvement Plan Performance Level and Breach Performance Level set out in the contract.

The letter approving a temporary waive to the performance benchmarks is published on the Transport Scotland website:


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