Murdo Fraser MSP has said his constituents don’t want to hear “buck-stopping and excuses” from the Transport Minister on how to resolve the current rail crises.
The Scottish Conservative politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, recently raised the matter in the Scottish Parliament Chamber with Jenny Gilruth MSP, after being contacted by people who have been impacted by the cuts to rail services, which has been caused by a pay dispute between ScotRail and trade union members.
Commenting, Mr Fraser said: “I asked the Transport Minister what impact driver shortages will have on the availability of rail services for passengers in Mid Scotland and Fife after being contacted by several irate constituents who described the impact the rail crises was having on them.
“The last train that my constituents can get back to Stirling, Fife or Perth through the week now leaves Edinburgh at 8pm. Not only does this wreak havoc with people’s social plans, it is causing real problems for people in shift work, such as those who work in the NHS, meaning that they can’t take the train to get back home from their place of work."
Mr Fraser continued: “My constituents don’t want to hear buck-passing and don’t want to hear excuses from the Transport Minister – they want this sorted as soon as possible. Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, recently told BBC Scotland that he expected the rail dispute should be sorted in a couple of months. I therefore asked the Transport Minister if she could provide an assurance that it won’t take any longer than that to get some sort of normality back to our rail services for my constituents, but I was very disappointed with her answer which didn’t provide any clarity at all.
“She just said she hoped that some resolution on the matter would take place following talks set to take place. Frankly, that is not good enough as this rail dispute is affecting people right across the country and we need the SNP Government to take a more hands-on approach, instead of sitting back and saying they hope talks between ScotRail and trade unions succeed.”
Mr Fraser raised the matter through a General Question in the Chamber.