Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer has welcomed an announcement from the Scottish Government that the Dutch firm Abellio’s tenure as ScotRail franchisee is to be ended.
In a statement to parliament yesterday afternoon, Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson indicated that the franchise will come to an end in 2022, and will not be ‘rebased’.
Abellio has been running the franchise since 2015 but had faced criticism over cancellations and performance levels.
The contract, worth more than £7bn over 10 years, was due to last until 2025 but a clause would be used to end the franchise three years early, in 2022.
Ross Greer MSP, said: “Scottish Greens welcome the decision to bring an end to the Abellio ScotRail franchise. Delays, cancellations and overcrowding have become the norm on our railways in recent years, especially on the Paisley Canal line, which is frequently one of the worst performing in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government must now ensure that a robust public sector bid is in place so that our railways can be run in the public interest in future, rather than for private profit, as they are now.
“In light of noises coming from down south that the UK Government intends to attack hard won rail workers’ rights, it’s also vital that Scottish Ministers engage with trade unions at every step of the process in developing the next franchise, to ensure workers’ rights are at the heart of future ScotRail services and that Scotrail staff are treated far better than they have been been up until now.”