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Shoddy treatement of rail passengers exposes SNP's one track mind

November 16, 2011 12:01 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has demanded an explanation from Scottish ministers for why their transport agency is planning for a short-term rail contract, hitting passengers, whilst blaming constitutional uncertainty.

Willie Rennie MSPWillie Rennie MSPYesterday's consultation report from Transport Scotland gave 'possible constitutional changes' as one reason for cutting back improvements for passengers.

Mr Rennie argues that a longer term view would allow more investment to improve lives for rail users.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

"There was only one topic of discussion on Scotland's trains this morning and that was the SNP's shoddy treatment of rail passengers.

"High fares, limited seating, fewer routes, all of it stems from the SNP Government's decision to look only at the next few years down the line.

"If the franchise is longer then the operator can be expected to provide serious improvements.

"A longer franchise would enable operators to invest in faster trains over more routes with more things that passengers want like Wi-Fi.

"SNP ministers owe us an explanation for why they are promoting a short-sighted approach that threatens to heap misery on to passengers.

"In being so short-sighted, the SNP have come clean about their independence referendum getting in the way of Scotland's best interests. This rail franchise once again exposes the SNP's one-track mind that puts independence first, all else a distant second.

"Ministers need to over-rule Transport Scotland and set about securing long term improvements for passengers."