21 June 2012
Scottish Greens are blasting Scottish Government plans for the railways as “pathetic” and “steam-age”.
Today’s Rail 2014 statement by Transport Minister Keith Brown confirms the Scotrail and sleeper services will be let as separate franchises.
It also reveals that despite public appetite for wi-fi it is unlikely to be in place across the network until 2019. And smart ticketing, making it easy for people to book a journey involving trains, buses and ferries, won’t be in place until 2024.
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, said:
“What a complete lack of ambition the SNP Government shows for our railways. These plans are pathetic. No smart ticketing for twelve years? What is this? The steam age?
“The minister went on to say fragmentation of the railways is a bad thing yet that’s exactly what he proposes by letting out separate contracts for Scotrail and the sleeper service. We should instead be encouraging a not-for-profit operator to deliver a joined up service.
“It is right to ask the Scotrail franchisee and Network Rail to work more closely together and for the franchise to be ten years with a five year break point so it can be reviewed. But we should be much more ambitious if we’re serious about making rail travel an easy and affordable option, and as a way of reducing Scotland’s carbon emissions.”