By Leigh Taylor
The Scottish Greens today called for the nationalisation of ScotRail following a Twitter row with dissatisfied customers.
The party wants to clamp down on Scotland’s controversial rail service.
Claire Miller, transport spokesperson for the Edinburgh Green councillors, said:
“Greens have long championed bringing the railways into public control. We hear and agree with the complaints that passengers make, about reliability, crowding, and ticketing. If we are going to meet our climate targets then traveling by train needs to radically improve so that it’s the most appealing choice”.
The disagreement erupted after ScotRail tweeted a message on Monday urging service users to buy tickets before boarding trains. This led to back and forth exchanges between the company’s social media staff and customers who highlighted that factors such as disabilities and reliance on other public transport would prevent them from purchasing tickets beforehand, with some then describing staff’s responses to customer queries as ‘poor’ and ‘disrespectful’.
Miller’s comment comes after her party’s Twitter response to ScotRail’s social media commotion, with The Scottish Greens tweeting:
“It’s time to clamp down on the abysmal Abellio, end its reign as the ScotRail franchisee and put in place a public sector operator to run Scotland’s railways in the public interest”.
Renationalising the railways has been a long and contested conversation, with ASLEF, the train drivers’ train union, recently calling on Scots to vote Labour in December’s general election to ensure railways in Scotland are brought back into public ownership. Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s full-time Scottish organiser, said:
“Criticism of ScotRail is coming from all quarters because the company is failing to deliver for the people of Scotland. The performance of Abellio has been truly terrible. The company has failed to recruit enough drivers, is continually skipping stations, does not have enough rolling stock, has used HSTs that have not been refurbished, and has a history of poor industrial relations”.