Save ScotRail get rid of Abellio

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Since Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise in 2015 it has been a travesty. In just 3 years Abellio have delivered

·      Slower trains: Trains run slower now than they did in 1997     

·      Later trains: Punctuality has fallen to its lowest since 2005

·      Less Reliable trains: Reliability has fallen to a 20-year low. On average, 70 trains are cancelled every day.

·      Dirtier trains: 40-year old High Speed Trains have been pressed into work without refurbishment, leading to human effluence being dumped onto the tracks

·      A failing ScotRail which needed to be bailed out this year by the Scottish taxpayers with money from next year’s budget.

In the face of this catalogue of incompetence the Scottish Government’s only answer has been to waive Abellio’s franchise targets for 12 months and try to blame Network Rail for everything.

An independent report published by Common Weal which can be seen here shows that the Scottish Government could achieve better investment in the railways, leading to better trains, better punctuality and better reliability if ScotRail were in the public hands. In addition passengers could enjoy an immediate 6% reduction in ticket prices with more savings possible in the future. 

Enough is enough. It’s time for the Scottish government to use the opportunity offered by the break clause in the Franchise Agreement with Abellio, end their contract and bring ScotRail back into public ownership.