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Rail unions step up calls for renationalisation as figures reveal ScotRail’s failures

FEWER than half of ScotRail trains arrive on time across a third of Scotland’s stations, latest figures showed yesterday leading to calls for renationalisation.

According to data from ScotRail, covering the period April 30 to May 27, less than 50 per cent of services were on time at 22 stations across Scotland.

RMT Scotland organiser Mick Hogg accused ScotRail of “failing to deliver not only safe railway but a railway which is run to benefit people.”

He said RMT was calling for the renationalisation of the railways “because it makes logical and financial sense.”

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Neil Bibby MSP branded the frequent lateness and cancellations “unacceptable” and called on SNP Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to take action to prevent another chaotic winter such as last year when many angry commuters were left stranded by cancelled trains.

Dutch firm Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise in 2015 in a 10-year deal worth up to £6 billion with an option to cancel after five years, and ministers are now facing calls to strip them of the franchise.

Mr Yousaf was forced to apologise last year and ScotRail was fined £483,000 for failing to meet required standards for trains and stations.

Mr Bibby said public satisfaction with ScotRail was at a 14-year low and passengers were “losing patience” with Mr Yousaf’s “failure to act.”

The Sunday Herald reported that Mr Yousaf was considering either a public-sector bid or public-private partnership to take over Scotland’s railways when Abellio’s contract ends.

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