FINNIE QUESTIONS GOVERNMENT’S COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC BID FOR SCOTRAIL

A Green MSP is calling out what he sees as insufficient progress on the Scottish Government’s attempts to facilitate a public bid for ScotRail after ministers revealed the next franchise competition could effectively be delayed by three years.

John Finnie, the Scottish Greens’ transport spokesperson, received a letter from the transport secretary that revealed the government will now also “give equal treatment” to private sector bidders.

Mr Finnie, the Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:

“A publicly run rail service, that’s set up in the interest of passengers rather than shareholder profits, won’t magically get up and running by itself. It needs the support of government and a determination from ministers to see that it’s in place by the original 2020 deadline.

“The transport secretary’s insistence that he’ll be ’giving equal treatment’ to franchise bidders from the private sector doesn’t inspire confidence that we’ll have a publicly-run, improved and expanded rail service in Scotland any time soon.”