WHO PAYS THE FERRYMAN?
Alex McWhirter’s article “Sleeper Success” in the May issue of Business Traveller perpetuates the factoid rolled out by the PR department of Scottish Executive [Government] that they initiated, and paid £50 million for, the new Caledonian Sleeper.
In the Scottish “Rail 2014” consultation document released in Edinburgh on November, 15, 2011, Transport Scotland discussed reducing, or even removing, the sleeper services. Specifically, there would have been none at all London to Glasgow. In the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement later in November 2011, George Osborne offered £50 million of UK taxpayers’ money to upgrade the service if, and only if, the Scottish Executive chipped in too.
It was not until December, 15, 2011 that the Scottish Executive agreed to match the offer.
It was George Osborne and the UK taxpayer who saved the Scottish Sleepers.
Brian Yates, Edinburgh