Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP has today branded proposals to fund one week of free travel for ScotRail season ticket holders out of the fund designed to pay for service improvements as “scandalous and fraudulent”.
At this morning’s Rural Economy and Connectivity committee, Phil Verster, the Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance revealed that the £1.8 million announced by the Scottish Government to fund this project in December will be taken from the Service Quality Regime Fund.
Mr Rumbles said:
“Passengers were told that this free week came courtesy of the generosity of the Scottish Government. Instead we find out today that it is being funded by a raid on the fund for rail improvements.
“In my own area of North East Scotland, we were told that disabled access at Inch station couldn’t be afforded. For passengers to then discover that the Scottish Government is forcing ScotRail to raid the fund to pay for Government announcements is frankly astounding.
“If this was the correct way to use these funds the announcement would have come from ScotRail not from the Scottish Government. The impression given that this is new Scottish Government money is extremely misleading.
“This is a scandalous and fraudulent move by the Scottish Government and passengers deserve so much better.”
Notes to editors:
The Service Quality Regime Fund is controlled by Abellio/ScotRail and any decision on its use rests with Phil Verster, Managing Director.