Local MSP Iain Gray has slammed the Scottish government for handing ScotRail a ‘licence to fail’ until June 2019.
Mr Gray believes that rail users in East Lothian will be outraged at the Minister’s decision to let the company off the hook like this, when local commuters continue to experience regular delays, cancellations and overcrowding.
A parliamentary question has revealed that Transport Secretary Michael Matheson will allow the private company to breach the franchise performance levels in a “temporary waive” until June 2019.
The Transport Secretary, who has only been in post since June, reached this deal with the firm after they had already hit breach level, without informing Parliament.
Iain Gray MSP, said:
“It is shocking that ScotRail have been given licence by Transport Scotland to fail for an entire year. ScotRail have been failing to hit their agreed targets for years.
“Now their performance has got so bad they would have breached the franchise agreement had Transport Secretary Michael Matheson not let them ignore the targets.
“But instead of demanding ScotRail deliver what they are paid to by the taxpayer, the SNP government is going to let them off the hook and allow them to keep missing their targets.
“I believe this is an insult to the passengers who have to put up with late, overcrowded, overpriced trains and completely undermines the aim of the franchise agreement.
“Rail users in East Lothian will rightly be outraged at the government’s failure to stand up for their interests in this way.
“It really is a slap in the face for County commuters who suffer the failings of ScotRail day in and day out.”