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TSSA says next Scottish rail franchise is a stepping stone to public railway in Scotland

22 June 2012

Britain's second largest rail union, the TSSA, has said the new Scotrail franchise must be seen as a step towards rail returning to the public sector under a Labour government.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

“Scotland’s next passenger franchises should let on a ‘not for profit’ basis. Public ownership of the whole rail network is the only effective way to ensure value for money and a rail system with a secure future.

"The Scottish Government’s  proposals for the next franchise could mean that Scotland’s taxpayers will continue pay into the profits of private companies that benefit from the fragmented rail structure if we  leave our railways in the hands private businesses.

"Only a ‘not for profit’ franchise model will safeguard Scotland’s taxpayers who will otherwise remain exposed to private companies whose sole objective is to make profits for shareholders.

"A deep alliance model based on agreements between Network rail and private operators threatens safety. Deep alliance arrangements contemplated between franchisees and Network Rail will mean the integrating and embedding the profit objectives of private operators into the management of Scotland’s rail network.

"This mix will reproduce the Railtrack model of operation in Scotland. Railtrack was shut-down after the disasters at  Potters Bar and Hatfield.”

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