Caledonian Sleeper must return to public hands after Serco failure

old fashioned clock hanging from the ceiling in Glasgow Central (C) Liz Warren-Corney

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has urged the Scottish Government to give a “copper-bottomed guarantee” that the Caledonian Sleeper service will come into public hands after outsourcing giants – Serco – were stripped of the franchise.

Scotland's Transport Minister, Jenny Gilruth, said the decision by the SNP government to terminate the Serco franchise as of June 2023, was taken because a proposal by the firm to change the agreement had "been rejected on the grounds of not representing value for money to the public.”

The Minister said that work was “now underway to determine arrangements for the continued provision of Caledonian Sleeper rail services.”

Union leader, Cortes, commented - “This decision is welcome, but we need a copper-bottomed guarantee that the Sleeper service will return to public hands for the long term, after what looks like an attempt by Serco to squeeze yet more from the taxpayer.

“The Scottish Government seems to have left the door open to the return of Serco or other privateers, it should be slammed firmly in their faces.

“More private sector failure on Scotland’s railways is not an option. Our railways must be run in the interests of passengers not profit.”



TSSA is an independent trade union for the transport and travel industries. We have thousands of members right across the UK and Ireland, working for the railways and associated companies, as well as ferries, bus services and the travel trade.

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