Labour launch new campaign on rail nationalisation
Richard Leonard today launched a fresh campaign to highlight Labour’s plans to bring Scotland’s railways back into public ownership.
As the East Coast mainline returns to public hands following the failure of the private sector franchise, Labour has announced that it will step up its campaign for public ownership of all the railways.
Leonard will joined activists at Glasgow Central station today to launch a new ‘scratch card’ style leaflet, as the party campaigns at stations across the country.
The party will also targeted commuters during rush hour with an online advert highlighting “SNP rail failures” and outlining Labour’s own plans for public ownership.
In a statement, the Scottish Labour leader said: “East Coast coming back into public hands should make clear, once and for all, that the franchising model does not work. It is time to nationalise our railways and put public transport back into public hands.
“Getting to work shouldn’t be a gamble, but for too many passengers in Scotland the daily commute means an overcrowded, late running, overpriced train – if it turns up at all.
“Some passengers in Scotland are spending up to 20 per cent of their wages on rail fares.
“Labour offers a brighter future for our railways, with public ownership giving passengers more of a say and better services.”
The question of ownership of railways in Scotland has come to increasing prominence after ScotRail's acquisition by Dutch firm, Abellio, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dutch state rail company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen.
A report published last year by CommonWeal and the rail union TSSA has called for ScotRail to be brought back into public ownership, labelling the situation where a Dutch state firm was subsidised to run Scotland's primary rail provider “hard to justify”.