Loal MP Mark Lazarowicz has backed a call by Scottish Labour MPs, MSPs and the RMT rail union for the retendering of the ScotRail and Caledonian sleeper franchises to be postponed in the light of the timetable for the devolution of new powers to the Scottish Parliament.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has proposed that the new devolved powers should include further devolution of powers over rail transport.
The Government is to publish the proposals of each of the three main Westminster parties by 30 October and the Scottish people, civil society in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will then be consulted on them, but a decision on the company to operate the Scotrail franchise is due to be announced this month with the franchise to start in April 2015 and to run for the next 10 years.
The North and Leith MP said: “The proposals for further devolution include new powers covering rail transport and in the light of that I am calling on the Scottish Government to postpone the retendering of the ScotRail and Caledonian sleeper franchises.
“That would mean that once the powers are devolved the Scottish Government will be free to decide whether it wishes to run rail services in the public sector rather than continuing with privatisation.
“The new powers should enable the Scottish people to make a real choice about the kind of society we are and, on rail as on other issues, the Scottish Government should not make that decision for us before we are able to.”
The timetable for the transfer of further powers to the Scottish Parliament can be found in the text of a Parliamentary Motion at
[Section B, no. 28]