The nationalisation of ScotRail is a ‘historic moment’ according to Nicola Sturgeon

Support us and go ad-free

Bringing ScotRail into public ownership is an “historic moment” Nicola Sturgeon insisted. With the rail operator ceasing to be run by Abellio from Friday, the Scottish first minister said its move into public ownership was a “significant milestone”.

Sturgeon told travellers:

Obviously from tomorrow services will continue as normal.

It is important we provide reassurance and familiarity to passengers in the immediate terms as we recover from the disruption and impact of the pandemic.

“Sustainable, safe, fit for the future”

But she was clear the change in ownership “provides an opportunity to modernise” and would help to:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

deliver passenger services which are efficient, sustainable, safe, fit for the future.

To help with that, she pledged staff and travellers would be able to take part in a “national conversation” which would “contribute to the future vision” for the service.

But Tory transport spokesman, Graham Simpson, branded the publicly owned service “Nat Rail”, claiming that issues with lifeline ferry services in Scotland showed that “the SNP is no good at running things”. Raising the issue at first minister’s questions, he asked Sturgeon:

What we do know is we’re going to have rising fares, service cuts and ticket office closures. What part of that is an improvement?

The SNP leader, however, insisted her party had “already delivered significant improvements on our railways” citing several towns which have gained new rail links, with more to follow. She added that this was:

even before the railway comes into public ownership, as it will tomorrow.

Nicola Sturgeon was pressed on the future of ScotRail at First Minister’s Questions (Russell Cheyne/PA)

A new beginning?

Speaking about that, Sturgeon said:

The transition of ScotRail passenger services in to public ownership tomorrow will be a very significant milestone.

It will fulfil a manifesto commitment of this Government and mark a new beginning  for ScotRail.

It provides an opportunity to modernise and deliver passenger services which are efficient, sustainable, safe, fit for the future and which reflect the changing world we  live in.

She went on:

Bringing ScotRail into publish ownership and control is an historic moment, and I am delighted it is happening under this Government.

While she stressed services “will continue as normal” when the change of ownership takes place, the first minister added:

Over the spring we will launch a national conversation offering rail staff, passengers and communities an opportunity to contribute to the future vision for Scotland’s railway and help shape this new beginning for ScotRail.

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us