Fiona Hyslop Comments on Scotrail Delays:
“I am aware from the number of constituency correspondence I receive that passengers are not happy with the extent of the delays in recent months with most of the delays due to Network Rail controlled by Westminster. The delayed introduction of new trains has been caused by staffing issues and an over time ban by staff which is being resolved.
“Raising the cost of fares and not improving services is simply unacceptable. Passengers deserve a seat on the train they pay for and they depend on a timely service.
“In December the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson ordered Scotrail to submit a remedial plan outlining how it planned to address performance issues within eight weeks.
“Rail remains a reserved matter under the Scotland Act. Until this changes, we cannot consider the full range of options for running the railways in Scotland in a way which best suits our passengers, freight providers and communities.
“That is why we are yet again calling on the UK government, through its rail review, to devolve all rail matters to the Scottish ministers.
“I agree that there should be able to be a public sector bid for the tender and indeed it is this SNP Government that has made sure this can happen as the previous tenders ran by the Labour/LibDem Scottish Executive could only be privately tendered.