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SNP want power to renationalise our rail network; Anger at west coast shambles.

Byline: David Clegg d.clegg@dailyrecord.co.uk

THE Scottish Government have demanded powers to renationalise the railways as the furore over the west coast main line farce continues.

Transport Minister Keith Brown called for the right to consider "public sector" delivery of services as he updated MSPs on the UK Government's botched bid to hand the franchise for the Glasgow-London line to FirstGroup.

FirstGroup were supposed to take over from Virgin in December but the plan was halted when the UK Government admitted mistakes in the bidding process.

In a blistering attack on the Coalition, Brown accused the UK Department for Transport of incompetence.

And in comments that are sure to be controversial, he gave the strongest hint yet that the Nationalists would like to nationalise the Scottish train service.

The railways were sold off by the Tories in the 1990s but Brown said privatisation had left a "fragmented and inefficient model".

He added: "We are doing all that we can to make this model work as best we can.... but the 2012 model is not fit for purpose and I have repeatedly raised concerns with the UK Government on this matter."

Although the Scottish Government control the ScotRail franchise, they are restricted from nationalising the service.

Brown said that giving Holyrood "full legislative control over the railways" would give Scottish ministers the flexibility to consider all options "including public sector models".

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 5, 2012
Words:238
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