Greens push for public ownership of railways after fare rise announcement

Green MSPs will lobby the Scottish Government to put rail services back into public ownership after commuting in Scotland is set to become even more expensive.

John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ transport spokesperson, has also highlighted how the rise of regulated rail fares in Scotland by 1.9 percent next year shows that last year’s bidding process for the ScotRail franchise was a “massively wasted opportunity” to stabilise fare prices.

John Finnie MSP said:

“Unfortunately most of us come to expect, and begrudgingly accept, an annual rise in peak ticket prices. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Privatised railways are an enormous failed experiment and we saw the East Coast service turned around under public ownership. Rail users in Scotland will undoubtedly be looking back at last year’s ScotRail franchise bid as a massively wasted opportunity by the Scottish Government to make peak rail use more affordable.

“Last year’s rise was one percent and with this 1.9 percent rise announcement, it highlights the need for action to be taken to make commuting in Scotland more affordable. I’ll be writing to the transport minister to offer my support to the government for putting rail services in Scotland back in public hands.”

Finnie added:

“Continual price rises should mean current standards are maintained and enhanced, so let’s hope the discussions between ScotRail and the RMT result in guards being kept on services, therefore prioritising safety over profit.”