Date lodged: 19 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what impact using £1.8 million from the SQUIRE Fund to help pay for the so-called "free week" of ScotRail travel will have on the work to improve access to (a) stations and (b) trains, and what its position is on whether using the SQUIRE Fund in this manner is in line with the fund's purpose.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 1 February 2017
There will be no impact on work to improve access to (a) stations or (b) trains by applying the financial penalties held within the SQUIRE Investment Funds to the ScotRail fares initiative. £834,000 from the Investment Fund has already been allocated for station and rolling stock improvements. As there are not currently any initiatives or projects at the developmental stage to require funding, the balance of the fund, £2.06million, is currently unallocated.
The Franchise Agreement specifically states that such funds be directed towards "qualitative respects of the Franchise Services". Use of a proportion of these funds to the benefit of Scotrails valued, existing passenger base falls within the remit of the contract.