FOLLOWING a period of continued disruption for passengers to and from Stirling Train Station, Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has called for Network Rail to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

In a question to the Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, Mr Crawford acknowledged disruption had been caused by a lack of a reliable service on ScotRail’s part, but he pointed out that a large number of cancellations and delays were due to issues such as signal failure, which rests at the door of Network Rail.

Network Rail is entirely reserved to Westminster.

The Transport Secretary agreed with Mr Crawford that rail in Scotland should be fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Michael Matheson said: “I have made it clear that the current structural system to provide rail services in Scotland is no longer suitable to serve the travelling public.

"That is why we need to see the further devolution of railway services to the Scottish Parliament so that both parts of our rail network—ScotRail and the infrastructure provider, Network Rail—are accountable to the Parliament and the Government and we can ensure that the issues are being addressed sooner rather than later.”

Bruce Crawford said: “Where ScotRail as a rail operator has failed in maintaining the confidence of local passengers, I have held them to account, and their recent record has rightly been criticised.

“However, if we are to find solutions, rather than just to point the finger of blame, we have to look at the wide range of problems on Scotland’s railways.

“Everyone who travels regularly by rail has experienced delays or cancellations due to signal failure. This is not a ScotRail issue, this is a Network Rail issue – and Network Rail is under the remit of the UK Government.

“I am therefore renewing my calls for Scotland’s railways to be joined up by full devolution. It is not good enough to simply have the rail operator accountable to Scotland’s democratically elected parliament, we must also have the infrastructure provider answerable to MSPs too.”