Rail workers’ union places blame for train chaos on ScotRail operator Abellio

Abellio Scotrail (Kim Cessford / DCT Media)

A RAIL workers’ union has accused operator Abellio ScotRail of “mismanagement” after months of misery for travellers.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, said the £7bn contract awarded to Dutch-owned Abellio in 2015 should be torn up and trains brought back into public ownership.

Commuters affected by delays and cancellations will be asked to sign a petition at Glasgow Central station tomorrow.

The Scottish Government issued Abellio ScotRail with a formal notice in December giving the company two months to come up with a plan to improve performance.

Manuel Cortes

Mr Cortes said: “Passengers are understandably frustrated at the problems ScotRail is experiencing right now. The blame belongs with Abellio and their team of senior managers.

“Poor planning, deliberate understaffing of the railway and trying to do things on the cheap are not the fault of our members. Call it mismanagement, call it what you want, but the reality is they are in breach of the franchise agreement.”

Alex Hynes, managing director of ScotRail Alliance, admitted in December that the service his company provides “hasn’t been good enough” and apologised to passengers.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said rail is a reserved matter under the Scotland Act, however, public sector organisations will be able to bid for future franchises.