Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie has slammed Caledonian Sleeper operator Serco for its failure to deliver new trains on time.
The company has claimed that the process of testing and gaining the necessary regulatory and operating approvals for the new carriages was “time-consuming and complex”.
Serco has claimed that its new fleet will now be operational by May, although services in the Highlands be the last to come into service.
Mr Finnie said:
“The Caledonian Sleeper provides an important link from Scotland to England, but the current rolling stock is long past its best and passengers rightly expect a good quality service on a modern train. It is therefore extremely disappointing that Serco has failed to live up to its commitment to deliver this new rolling stock on time.
“The company should not be surprised at the process for testing and regulating new carriages and its attempt to blame this for the delay is quite frankly absurd.
“Serco only has itself to blame for its failure to deliver, and as usual it will be my constituents in the Highlands who are forced endure the longest wait for improved trains. I would encourage the Scottish Government to reflect on its decision to award this contract to such an unscrupulous company and urge them to bring Sleeper services back into public ownership at the earliest opportunity. Our railways should be run in the interest of public service, not private profit.”