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12 September: news in brief

Transport Scotland prepares for possible ScotRail renationalisation

THE ScotRail franchise run by Abellio could be renationalised, as performance continues to stay below target. Transport secretary Michael Matheson told MSPs that the operator is not now expected to reach performance targets for another year. ScotRail should have been running 92.5 per cent of trains punctually by March 2021, but the date for achieving this has been put back by 12 months to March 2022. Mr Matheson also warned that contingency plans are being made to end the contract, although no decision has been taken. He said: ‘We have arrangements and contracts. If we had to employ operator of last resort we would be in a position to be able to do so.’ ScotRail has admitted that even the new 2022 deadline is not certain to be met, pointing out that some delays are caused by third parties such as trespassers, and that bad weather can also be a factor.

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