Lanark station becomes platform for campaign

Demo at Lanark Station with Claudia Beamish MSP and fellow Labour Party activists all calling for re-nationalisation
Demo at Lanark Station with Claudia Beamish MSP and fellow Labour Party activists all calling for re-nationalisation

Lanark Station became a platform for the campaign to re-nationalise Scotland’s railway service last week.

The area’s regional Labour MSP Claudia Beamish led a group of party members in a demo calling for a public ownership takeover following criticism of the current ScotRail franchise holders, Abellio.

The demonstrators were also seeking fairer ticket prices, improved reliability and greater investment in rail services.

The MSP claimed: “Prices are increasing but performance is falling and this is not a fair deal for commuters.

“Last year I highlighted to the Transport Cabinet Secretary and ScotRail that, despite increased passenger numbers, Carstairs Junction is the only station in West Scotland without a Sunday service and the capacity during major Edinburgh events like the rugby is woefully inadequate. Overcrowding at these times is a serious concern and it is disappointing it continues to happen.

“I was assured these issues would be reviewed but not until 2020 as part of the electrification project.

“Bringing our railways back into public ownership would allow for a service run for passengers not profits.”

Andrew Hilland Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Lanark and Hamilton East said: “Commuters across Clydesdale have suffered months of late, crowded and cancelled trains, only to be hit by a 3.2 per cent increase in rail fares when they returned to work after Christmas. It’s high time working people stopped having to pay such excessive fares simply to line the pockets of private companies. Our communities deserve better. They deserve a publicly owned rail service which serves the many, not the few.”

However, ScotRail Abellio issued statistics last week which it claims shows improvements. A spokesperson said: “New figure show that punctuality on Scotland’s railway has improved for the second consecutive period. Across Scotland, 84.2 per cent of ScotRail trains met the rail industry standard public performance measure.”