Thursday, 23 October 2014

Scotrail Or Should That Be Dutchrail?

On Tuesday I partially drafted a post about the Scottish Government’s decision to grant the franchise, worth up to £6n over ten years, for Scotrail to a foreign company - the Dutch operator Abellio.

The main point of the post was to discuss how a foreign company could outbid our own excellent National Express or First Group and it seemed it had done so by offering cheap fares. We all know ‘cheap’ fares have to be paid for somehow and my concern was other fares would rise to compensate.

I admit I knew next to nothing about Abellio but (stupidly) trusted the judgement of Keith Brown; after all he’s the person I think would be most suitable for the position of deputy leader of the SNP.

How wrong I was.  After reading Kenneth Roy’s article in his Scottish Review yesterday morning I have deleted my draft.  

Mr Brown insisted, in the Scottish Parliament last week, that his hands were tied by Westminster legislation and he had been forced to make a decision. Delay would ‘result in massive and unnecessary costs to the public purse’.  

Whilst I disagree with Labour’s sudden desperation to have a non-profit making railway in Scotland, I find, after reading Mr Roy’s well researched article, Mr Brown’s reasons for insisting he go ahead with awarding the contract to Abellio are perhaps less than accurate. 

Every country deserves an efficient rail service.  It seems Scotland is going to have to wait another ten years before there’s any chance of that happening.


JimS said...

And Westminster's hands are tied by Brussels - transport is an EU 'competence'.

subrosa said...

True JimS, but there does seem some truth that the decision could have been delayed. As for the excuse that it would be financially detrimental to Scotland, I wonder.

Dioclese said...

It's that good old EU again, Rosie. It's not legal under the 4th Reich to just give it to the home team.

JRB said...

Regardless of all the shenanigans surrounding the awarding of this franchise - Abellio offer us one shining hope for the future – they are planning to reintroduce steam trains on several of the more scenic Scottish routes.

subrosa said...

Yes, I gather that Dioclese. Another excellent reason to be out of this detestable setup.

subrosa said...

Ah JRB, you’ll be in your element then. :D

Will it come to pass though? Doubt if the greenies will permit it. Not trying to dampen your delight...

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