A coalition of organisations and MSPs have written to Nicola Sturgeon calling for the Scottish Government to take rail services into public ownership.
The letter is signed by 14 groups representing rail workers, passengers, disabled people, pensioners, environmentalists, civil society and 20 cross-party MSPs.
It calls for the services to become publicly-owned in January after the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper Covid Emergency Measures Agreements expire in 24 days’ time.
The letter said: “Appointing a public operator in the New Year would provide greater stability and resilience for Scotland’s railways.
“It would also end profiteering and provide greater value for money for taxpayers and passengers by ensuring all funds are reinvested into creating an improved and more affordable railway that can play a greater role in connecting communities and reducing carbon emissions.”
The signatories highlight that the Covid-19 pandemic has created “substantial and unprecedented challenges” for Scotland’s railway and the Scottish Government has provided significant funding for the operators during this period.
They added that private operators Abellio ScotRail and Serco Caledonian Sleeper “still stand to profit from Scotland’s railway through being paid a fee for operating services”.