Labour’s plan to improve Scotland’s railways

Labour would invest in a modern, integrated, accessible transport system that is reliable and affordable.


Our transport systems illustrate the abject failure of Tory policies; relentless deregulation, privatisation and fragmentation. In Scotland, ten years of the SNP has also left people desperate for transformative change.

This week, we revealed that ScotRail trains are failing to match the national punctuality target at nearly 60 per cent of stations where trains terminate. There has been an improvement in performance in recent months following an outcry from passengers. However, ScotRail is still falling short of its contractual target.

That’s why we have unveiled a blueprint to improve Scotland’s railways, with a publicly-owned network as the backbone.


Here is our plan:

• Bring ScotRail and the Caledonian Sleeper into public ownership when the franchises expire – a demand first made by Scottish Labour when the First ScotRail franchise ended, which was ignored by the SNP.
• Automatic refunds to passengers for tickets purchased by card if their train is delayed.
• Fairer fares for passengers – the SNP refused Labour’s demands for a price freeze this year, but Scottish Labour will press for a fair deal in 2018.
• Free WiFi across the entire network under a UK Labour government.
• End the expansion of driver-only operations.
• Introduce legal duties to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.
• Retain Network Rail in whole, rather than letting the Tories strip it of powers.
• Support the completion of the HS2 high-speed rail line to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
• Encourage public and private sector bodies to take part in ‘active travel’ schemes to persuade workers to commute by train.

Delayed trains are still a major problem on the ScotRail network, despite improvements in recent months.
Passengers have always been entitled to compensation for significant delays, but many are unaware of their rights. Scottish Labour has repeatedly called on the Scottish Government to run an awareness campaign.
Now we are going further and demanding that automatic compensation is introduced for passengers paying by card if their train is 30 minutes or more late.


Scottish Labour will continue to keep up the pressure on ScotRail and the SNP Government to meet the expectations and needs of Scotland’s passengers in the months ahead. This week, our summer campaign – For The Many – is focusing on making Scotland a greener country. Read more about our campaign by clicking on the image below: