Rail franchising in Scotland

23 January 2015

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has welcomed proposals on the railways in Scotland in the Smith Commission report – even though they don’t go far enough. Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, says: ‘The power will be devolved to the Scottish government to allow public sector operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish ministers. We welcome that initiative because, currently, public sector operators are precluded from bidding and operating rail franchises in Britain. The new clause will lift this existing prohibition with regards to passenger rail services that start and end in Scotland and certain cross border services where Scottish ministers are the “appropriate franchising authority.” But these proposals are just the start, not the end, of the journey. Because everyone knows – everyone who uses and works on the railways in Britain – that privatisation has failed. That’s why we believe in an integrated railway system, fit for the 21st century, in public ownership.’

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