Published on : Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Scotland needs to take the control of the railway network, after it emerged more than half all the trains delays caused by the problems like faulty tracks and signaling.
More ScotRail services would be on time if the operator of Scotland’s railway infrastructure – which is currently run by public body Network Rail , which was answerable to Holyrood ministers and not to the UK Government, said Reform Scotland.
There are thousands of commuters who return to work today after the Christmas break, with many also facing the prospect of fare rises in the New Year and possible delays due to wintry weather conditions.
Reform Scotland says that about 54 per cent of late-running ScotRail services in the 12 months to November 11 were caused by infrastructure problems.
The responsibility for such things as track maintenance, signalling and overhead power lines belongs to Network Rail.
The independent think-tank said only 37 per cent of problems were down to ScotRail, which is operated by Dutch-group Abellio, and said the current debate about whether the franchise should go into public ownership was a “meaningless distraction”.
The Edinburgh-based research body said it would “make sense” for the Scottish section of Network Rail to be devolved and answerable to Scottish ministers.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf is known to be preparing a public- sector bid to take over Scotland’s railways, with a possible switch in 2022.