The Scottish Government must take ‘full responsibility’ for delays to rail improvements and performance in the Scottish rail network, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesman Mike Rumbles has said.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has come under fire this week, after it emerged that the Glasgow to Edinburgh electrification project will be delayed until the autumn, a year later than originally planned. The Minister, however, was quick to lay the responsibility at the feet of Network Rail, claiming that the Scottish Government did not have the powers to hold them to account.
In a meeting of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, this morning, MSPs heard evidence from Scotrail Alliance’s Managing Director Alex Hynes, Infrastructure Director David Dickson and the , Chief Executive of Network Rail Mark Carne.
Speaking after committee, Mr Rumbles said: “I find it difficult to understand how the Minister can claim the credit for the successes of the past while at the same time blaming Network Rail and a lack of powers for a year long delay to the SNP’s flagship electrification project.
“The fact of the matter is that the buck stops with the Scottish Government and it is a bad workman who blames his tools. Network Rail are absolutely accountable to the Scottish Government who set the timetable, performance standards and fund the project.
“The solution to this problem is very clear. The Transport Minister must stop throwing his toys out of the pram, take full responsibility for the project and put the time and effort in that is needed to manage his brief.”