Labour must “Get on board” with full devolution of rail

Tuesday April 23rd 2019

Devolution of rail

Written by Luke Jackson

SNP MSP Christine Grahame has called on Labour MSPs to get behind the full devolution of rail services to Scotland, after a former Labour transport minister urged that the Scottish Parliament be given full responsibility over Network Rail.

Tom Harris, a senior adviser to the Rail Review, said that all lines, signals, stations and infrastructure under the control of Network Rail should be transferred to a new body, answerable to the Scottish Government.

At the moment, Network Rail is responsible for railway infrastructure and is accountable to Westminster, not Holyrood.

Commenting, Ms Grahame, whose constituency includes much of the Borders Railway, said:

“The SNP in government has consistently called for the full devolution of rail services, but successive Labour and Conservative governments have repeatedly denied Scotland a full say over how its railways are run – talking a good game while doing absolutely nothing to deliver the powers we need.

“The Rail Review gives us an opportunity for meaningful change. Full devolution of services currently under the control of Network Rail would help to improve performance on the railways and allow for a coherent, joined-up approach to transport.

“It’s time for Labour to get on board with the common sense approach – handing over full control of the rail infrastructure to Scotland to help ensure our railways deliver for all passengers on the Borders Railway and beyond.”

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