You are:


Return to news listings

Manuel Cortes predicts winter mayhem on ScotRail as Abellio "bicker" with Network Rai

8 November 2018

Manuel Cortes today warned ScotRail passengers to expect winter mayhem as Transport minister Michael Matheson allows Abellio “to get away with timetable murder.” Cortes predicts a further schedule meltdown with endemic delays ahead after a senior Network Rail boss was moved from his post by ScotRail Chief exec Alex Hynes.

His warning piles on the misery for commuters who were hit with more delays this morning (Tuesday) when this time a new flagship Hitachi train broke down.

Cortes says Matheson is wrongly fingering the NR boss for systemic problems at ScotRail whilst simultaneously letting Abellio ScotRail off the hook by suspending their penalty clause for failure to deliver.

He wants Nicola Sturgeon to step in and take personal charge of the failing rail which is spiralling in to further decline since Matheson took charge.

Cortes said, “Today we’ve seen Abellio again try to shift the blame for their failings onto Network Rail. And Alex Hynes has replaced Network Rail’s head of infrastructure with another of his old friends from Northern. But Abellio can’t hide the fact that they don’t employ enough staff to maintain and upgrade their trains, and no amount of blaming Network Rail can cover that up. Today’s breakdown on the Edinburgh – Glasgow line, caused by a faulty train is the latest in a long line of delays and cancellations for suffering ScotRail commuters.

“Network Rail is regulated by the Office of Rail and Road. But the SNP government have unbelievably waived their right to hold Abellio to account for their failures.

“By giving ScotRail a 12-month waiver on their franchise targets Matheson pulled his own teeth. Abellio have nothing to fear because they know they won’t be penalised for their failures.

“Scotland's railways are s complete shambles. To restore confidence and badly needed train services which run on time, Nicola Sturgeon should take direct control as her Transport Secretary is incapable of running a bath never mind this vital piece of Scotland's infrastructure.

“ScotRail passengers have a long winter of discontent ahead of them if Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t act. This bickering won’t wash. She needs to get a grip of ScotRail herself as the man she’s charged with it is not fit for purpose. Scotland deserves better rail than this. They can blame Network Rail and tweet about new trains all they want but nothing will gloss over their ineptitude. ScotRail’s passengers know the truth.”

- Ends –
Notes to Editors

Return to news listings