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Abelio's Scotfail

22 November 2016

Responding to Abeilio's efforts to defend their poor management of Scotrail, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

"Abeilio are clearly suffering from a bad case of BSE - blame somebody else! It's pathetic to see them engage in a public bickering match with the Scottish government or blame Network Rail for their failings.

"It is true fares are set by the Scottish government. And overcrowded trains are down to years of under-investment in rolling stock. "But Abeilio took on this franchise with their eyes wide open and firmly focussed on the bucks the franchise rules would let them squeeze out Scotland's passengers.

"No less an authority than Richard Branson has described the UK's rail franchising system as "a licence to print money". His Virgin West Coast and East Coast mainline made more than £50 million in profits last year alone. So like it or not, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to extracting money out of Britain's rail service.

"And Abeilio are in business in Scotland to do exactly the same. Their first year profits show they've managed to cream off £1million a month since taking over the franchise - so they are meeting their money-making targets whether passengers get to work on time or not. It's obscene. But the franchise system is designed this way.

"The Scottish people are being served up a shoddy rail-service so that Abeilio - a rail front organisation for the Dutch government - can keep its passengers in Holland in a super-subsidised, world-class rail service. It's time for the Scottish Government to end this ungraceful spectacle and lead Britain in devolving rail ownership in Scotland into the hands of the Scottish public."

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