Ministerial statement on ScotRail
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said:
“It is important to keep Parliament informed of the actions I am taking to ensure Scotrail improve our rail services and I will be proposing to make a statement to Parliament this week so all parties can discuss how we improve our rail services. I also reiterate my offer to the rail unions, opposition politicians, and public sector organisations to meet me to discuss the possible shape of a public sector franchise bid. I am prepared to work with anyone who is serious about improving rail services.
“I am focussed on holding ScotRail to account for improving journey times and services now and on delivering our longer term commitments to revolutionise rail travel in Scotland.
“This Scottish Government is currently taking forward the largest ever train improvement programme - £475m is being invested on trains bringing more seats, better reliability, availability and upgrading and refurbishing the existing fleet. Our revolution in rail will mean, within a couple of years, an extra 200 services a day in the north of the country and an extra 20,000 seats.
“By 2019, there will be 23% more seats available, including new trains on the Edinburgh – Glasgow next year, and inter-city high speed trains during 2018. And let’s not forget that ScotRail consistently outperforms many of the other train operating companies across the UK.
“As I have made clear, our focus is firmly on driving up standards for passengers and ScotRail bosses have been left in no doubt about the need for improvements, and the seriousness of my intent. I will continue to monitor their performance closely. While we are taking forward work to deliver a public sector operator to bid for future franchises, we must ensure the current contract delivers the service passengers desire and deserve, while frontline staff are recognised for their hard work.”