Stirling MSP Bruce Craford and local Councillor Evelyn Tweed have welcomed the announcement that the SNP Scottish Government is taking over the running of the country’s rail franchise.
ScotRail services will move into public sector control when the current franchise with Abellio expires – currently expected to happen in March 2022.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson announced that rail services will be run by an arm’s length company owned and controlled by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government’s decision to run our railways through what it known as the ‘Operator of Last Resort’ has been shaped by a number of factors, including faults with the current franchising system, uncertainty from a year-long delay in the UK Government’s rail review and the effects of the Covid pandemic.
Bruce Crawford MSP said:
‘Stirling is hugely proud of it’s railway heritage and connections, with great interconnectivity from us to all corners of Scotland. This bold move by the SNP Scottish Government will help bring about welcome stability and certainty to staff, commuters and passengers in Stirling and beyond.
‘The SNP have long argued that the future structure of Scottish railways should be in Scotland’s hands. The ball is now firmly in the UK government’s court to devolve the other necessary rail powers to Holyrood.’
Local Councillor Evelyn Tweed said:
‘This is really welcome news from our SNP Scottish Government, helping secure the future of Scotland’s railways and keep us on track to a greener, fairer and more sustainable public transport system fit for the future.
‘The news that current ScotRail staff will transfer to the new Scottish Government owned company, with terms and conditions protected, will also provide much-needed security to those who help keep our railways running smoothly.’