First Minister marks ScotRail coming under public sector control

New beginning puts passengers and staff at the heart of rail services.

ScotRail officially coming under public control and ownership heralds a new beginning that truly puts passengers and staff at the heart of rail services, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking at Glasgow Queen Street Station today, the First Minister marked the transition date that means ScotRail services will be delivered by a Scottish Government owned operator.

The First Minister said: “This historic and momentous occasion marks the delivery of a key milestone in our ambitious Programme for Government to support a greener, fairer, more prosperous Scotland.

“Everyone involved has worked extremely hard to deliver the smooth transition of ScotRail into public control and ownership. This new beginning creates a real opportunity to deliver a railway which is for the nation, and fully focused on being run for the benefit of its users – customers, staff and stakeholders, as opposed to shareholders.

“Rail plays a key role in helping to meet our climate change targets and cut transport emissions. ScotRail passenger services are a central plank in our ambitious decarbonisation plans – backed by £5 billion over this Parliament – to support thriving, resilient and diverse communities.

 “Together with the delivery of our free bus travel for under-22s, we are making public transport a more attractive option, especially for Scotland’s younger generations.”

Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Railway Managing Director, said:

“This is very important day for Scotland’s Railway, and it is a significant moment as we make the transition to public ownership.

“It’s an exciting new chapter and provides us with a fantastic opportunity to shape the future for rail travel in Scotland.

“The last couple of years have accelerated the change needed in our industry as we seek to keep pace with the different ways our customers now travel. Our customers will remain at heart of Scotland’s Railway, as we look to modernise the way we work.

“Our staff have done a fantastic job to keep people moving, and to keep delivering a vital service for the country’s economy, and I am looking forward to continuing to deliver the high quality of service that our customers expect and deserve.”

As part of the efforts to encourage people back to rail, a ‘Yours to Use’ promotion will run on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 April, enabling each fare paying adult to take up to four children free of charge anywhere in Scotland. Further information can be found on the ScotRail website.

Photo credit: Transport for Scotland

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