Thu 30 May, 2013

Scottish Greens used today's Scottish Parliament debate on railways to rally support for public ownership and for investment in the Highland main line to counter the effects of dualling the A9.

The amendment by the Green-Independent group to the government's motion highlighted the opportunity presented by independence to remove the constraints of UK legislation which favours privatisation.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"Privatised railways are a massive failed experiment. We've seen East Coast turned around under public ownership but bizarrely the UK Government sees this as a reason to flog it off.

"Meanwhile the Scottish Government’s road-building priorities risk making rail uncompetitive on price and journey times. They've earmarked billions for dualling the A9 but have little to say on upgrades to the Highland main line.

"The cost of purchasing and running a car has fallen over the last ten years, while rail fares have gone through the roof. The attraction of a publicly-owned or not-for-profit railway has never been greater. It would improve access for all, get HGVs off our congested roads and boost our economy for the long-term."

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