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It's easy to blame Network Rail and yes control over the tracks should be devolved but that's no excuse for inaction. Patrick Harvie MSP

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP today (7 Feb) accused the Scottish Government of giving ScotRail operator Abellio a free pass to fail.

Challenging the Deputy First Minister at Question Time in Parliament, Mr Harvie pointed out the chaos caused by this morning’s signalling failure in Glasgow.

Figures released earlier this week showed 2,691 ScotRail services were cancelled due to a lack of staff since April last year.

Recently there have been reports of overcrowding causing passengers to have panic attacks and faint.

Patrick said:

“The current situation isn’t acceptable, isn’t safe, and isn’t what people in Scotland deserve from their railway. It’s easy to blame Network Rail and yes control over the tracks should be devolved but that’s no excuse for inaction.

“Three months ago the government voted against using the break point in the ScotRail franchise next year; but if they weren’t convinced then, surely they cannot rule out the option altogether, which would give Abellio a free pass to fail. Surely the government must work on the assumption that a public sector bidder may be needed next year.

“Progress is urgently needed on bringing forward a public rail operator that works in the public interest.”