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Poll: time to bring rail into public ownership?

This poll is about 5 years old

​Long suffering commuters increasingly want action about the state of our rail network. What do you think?

Should our rail network be brought into public ownership?


The crisis on Scotland’s railways is coming to a head.

There was chaos on the network this week when the breakdown of one train at a crucial spot just outside Edinburgh’s Waverley station caused a knock-on effect across huge parts of Scotland.

It was, of course, bad luck. The incident, as operator Abellio said, happened at the wrong place, in the wrong circumstances, at the wrong time.

Problem is, on a properly functioning network, while people would have been annoyed, they would have forgotten about it in a day.

However, Scotrail’s long-suffering customers have had to deal with overcrowding, regular cancellations and delays since the Dutch company took up the franchise on April Fools Day, 2015.

The Waverley incident seemed to crystalise popular discontent and it has led to calls for transport minister Humza Yousaf to resign.

He won’t do that – but he has said that Abellio is on a warning and said it faces “serious consequences” if things don’t improve.

His government has also faced criticisms of not taking Scotrail into public ownership sooner – something the SNP administration said it couldn’t do then – but could now.

This has amplified the calls for the network to be nationalised.

And that’s what we’re asking in this poll.

Should our rail network be brought into public ownership? Vote now and get the debate going by leaving a comment.

Voting in this poll has now closed


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bernard boyle
about 5 years ago
The Railways were were one of the First Privitasation of Public provision of Services All of them exept Telecoms has been a Disaster. Including he Care sector. Where there is no saving of money because the Problems it causes falls upon other Services like social and the National Health Service it is Ideology It is another way to rip us off and deprive us of decent public services at the same time.
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about 5 years ago
The railways were a disaster under public ownership - no investment, passenger numbers dropping, everyone using their cars instead, and hopeless catering. The railways were run for their staff, and not the customers. In the private sector passenger numbers have gone up massively.
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Tim Parkinson
about 5 years ago
They are disingenuous! There is plenty of rolling stock. When the commonwealth games was on they used the eighty extra carriages they have lying doing nothing , and when the forth rail bridge was closed they did the same , and both times bragged about it.They still have those extra carriages, but staff admitted on Friday night at Waverley they hadn’t enough fuel to take all four carriages on Friday night and decanted the two forward carriages into the two rear ones crammed in like sardines; It costs approx. 25% more in fuel for the extra weight of an extra carriage ( they are about 100 tonnes each) so if they had everyone sitting down in four carriages they would only get the same revenue from the tickets as if they crammed them standing into two…therefore they make 25% extra pure profit by taking the carriages off and making you stand.Which is why overcrowded carriages have become permanent policyAnd unless the government addresses this, all the extra money spent in infrastructure and lines and electrification will make no difference; we will all still be standing in crowded trains, though the trains might run on time but the company will make even more profit still because of the electrification being cheaper than diesel.
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Brian Doyle
about 5 years ago
The Scottish Government at the paymasters of Abellio/Scotrail and they make the rules, they make prices, they cause the majority of problems because at end of the day they are TOO DISTRACTED with the stupidity of wasting all their time pushing for Indy 2, when they should be concentrating on getting this right for the Scottish people, therefore it is wrong to blame anyone other than themselves yes maybe minister should consider resigning?
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Rose Burn
about 5 years ago
Isnt the Scottish government already in charge of the railways? Don't they set the fares which determines how much money the operator has to spend? If the contract is taken away from the operator won't they have to pay compensation?