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Manuel Cortes hails “Golden Opportunity” for Humza Yousaf to bring ScotRail back into public ownership

22 June 2018

Ahead of an anticipated announcement, likely to be next week, by the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, on the future of ScotRail, TSSA leader, Manuel Cortes, has called it a golden opportunity for him to leave a lasting legacy by bringing ScotRail back into public ownership.

Cortes said “We are delighted to hear that Humza Yousaf took time to seriously consider the report we produced with Common Weal when he met with them earlier this year. He would have seen that it quite clearly shows that the best solution for Scotland is for Humza to take ScotRail directly into public ownership. This can immediately deliver a reduction in ticket prices of 6.5% - with no increase in subsidy - thus providing hard-pressed passengers with a far fairer price for their journey."

“In addition, a Scottish government owned ScotRail, means we could buy our own rolling stock rather than lease them from the equivalent of loan sharks. Without further delay, we could start delivering for ScotRail passengers the modern fleet they so richly deserve. Frankly, it beggars belief that Scotland is having to make do with clapped out 40 year-old trains that England has retired from active service!

“Put bluntly, the private sector are too interested in lining shareholders’ pockets to invest properly in Scotland's train fleet – just look at the English cast-offs ScotRail is being given!

“A franchise system, even one involving a public-sector bidder, is a massive waste of taxpayers’ money, with millions spent on running a competition between rivals. That's why direct public ownership is what Scotland’s passengers and taxpayers want, and it is what they deserve.

“We expect Humza to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament about the future of ScotRail before the Parliamentary recess at the end of June. This is a golden opportunity for him to leave his lasting legacy on Scotland’s railways. He shouldn’t squander this opportunity by listening to free-marketeers within his party. Time to give Scotland’s passengers the publicly owned railway they richly deserve!”

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