Letter to FM

Union wants low fares in publicly owned ScotRail

ScotRail
Rail services will switch to public ownership in the new year

A trade union boss has today written to Nicola Sturgeon demanding commitments to low fares and retaining station staff when Scotland’s rail service returns to public ownership.

TSSA Leader, Manuel Cortes, says in a letter to the First Minister that it is “utterly wrong-headed to think that cutting staff means more efficiency”.

He says that numbers are already stretched and further cuts will mean that short-notice cancellations become the norm.

“We need station and platform staff to help passengers with disabilities, parents with pushchairs, and elderly passengers on and off the train. More staff means a better railway for everyone,” he says.

Mr Cortes points out the need for people to be using public transport to reduce carbon emissions and questions the wisdom of raising fares.

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“We need to make it easier for people to take the train.”

He adds: “Public ownership is a golden opportunity to bring ticket prices down, as we’ll no longer need to pay shareholder dividends out of railway money.

“I was amazed that earlier this month the Scottish Government announced fare rises of 3.8% from 24 January 2022. To reach our climate change targets we need to make our railway the appealing, better option for everyone and that means keeping ticket prices down so everyone can afford it.”

He has appealed for a reversal of plans to close ticket office, saying such staff are vital to getting people to use trains.

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