Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has mapped out a better future for public transport – a non-profit People’s ScotRail.
The Smith Agreement will devolve powers to the Scottish Parliament to allow a non-profit organisation to bid to run Scotland’s railways. The Co-operative Party has argued that such an organisation should be run on the basis of mutual principles, with staff, passengers and the taxpayer given a formal role.
Murphy said that a non-profit bid would see profits reinvested in better services and cheaper fares, not lining the pockets of shareholders.
Last year the Scottish Labour & Co-operative Parties called for the suspension of the ScotRail franchising process until after the power had been devolved.
Despite suggesting they supported a non-profit option, the SNP instead awarded the contract to Abellio, a transport firm owned by the Dutch Government.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said:
“I want to see better, cheaper public transport. The Smith Agreement means we can have a ScotRail that is serving commuters, not shareholders.
“The current ScotRail franchise sees money going straight from the public purse to shareholders pockets. The incoming one will see Scottish public money support transport infrastructure in Holland. Neither deal is the best deal for Scotland when commuters are waiting on late running services, paying over inflated fares whilst being squeezed against train doors on overcrowded journeys.
“The best deal for Scotland is a People’s ScotRail, a railway company whose commitment is not to a group of shareholders or a foreign Government, but to the people of Scotland.”