Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Following the announcement from the UK Government that the London to Scotland East Coast main line is to be taken into public ownership, Lothians MSP and Transport Committee member Shirley-Anne Somerville has called for the Scottish Government to be consulted over the future of services provided by the new public company.

Ms Somerville will be writing to the UK and Scottish Transport Ministers for details of the service and future plans for Scottish involvement in the operation of the service.

Ms Somerville said:

“It is very concerning that the franchise operator behind this vital rail service from Edinburgh to London has collapsed in this way.

"This is a crucial connection for Edinburgh, particularly at a time when everything must be done to get people out of air travel and onto rails. This service has to offer a reliable, affordable and efficient alternative to flying.

"I welcome the reassurances that there will be no loss of services or jobs, but I will be writing to the UK Transport Secretary Lord Adonis to ask for guarantees that the Scottish Government will be regularly consulted on the service and on future plans for the ownership of the service. It must not simply be handed on to another private company when a not for profit option could bring real benefit to taxpayers and passengers alike.

"As we are taking forward plans for a high speed rail link from London to Scotland it is essential we can have confidence in the services being delivered. "

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