Scottish Greens are welcoming the efforts of Green MP Caroline Lucas in the campaign to bring Britain's railways back into public hands.

The Brighton Pavilion MP's Private Member's Bill, which aims to save the taxpayer more than £1bn a year and deliver improved services and lower rail fares for passengers, has its second reading in the Commons tomorrow (Fri 18 Oct).

Scottish Green Party members gave their backing to the Bill at their conference in Inverness earlier this month and called on the Scottish Government to do more to attract not-for-profit bids for the Scotrail franchise.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood's economy committee, said:

"Caroline Lucas's Bill is a key part of the fight to reclaim ownership of a vital public service that has been ruined by private interests and successive Westminster governments. Green policy on the railways is hugely popular but we're up against a Coalition determined to flog off East Coast and a Scottish Government failing to provide leadership on a not-for-profit bid for the Scotrail franchise.

"I hope Labour and SNP members at Westminster will back Caroline's Bill and meantime Scottish Greens will continue to support passengers and rail workers who know the time has come to put the public interest before private profit."

Caroline Lucas's Railways Bill

"Over one billion pounds of taxpayers’ money could be saved every year by reuniting the railways under public ownership."
Report by Transport for Quality of Life

Motion passed at Scottish Green Party conference this month:
Conference supports Caroline Lucas MP's Railways Bill, which would require the government to take rail franchises into public ownership as they come up for renewal. Conference requests that SGP's elected representatives support Dr Lucas' initiative by campaigning for the Scottish Government not to refranchise Scotrail for private profit when the current franchise expires on 31 March 2015. We recognise that if a non-profit franchise is to attract bids, consistent and proactive government leadership will be needed. We call on the Scottish Government to provide this leadership, preferably in concert with rail unions; and on the UK Parliament to remove any legal obstacles to this process.