MINISTERS are facing a bid at Holyrood to force them to nationalise Scotland’s buses and rail services.

The Scottish Greens will seek to get the measures included in the Government’s Transport Bill, and John Finnie, the party's transport spokesman, confirmed that the Greens would seek a vote on the issue.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf will unveil the government's long-awaited Transport Bill before Holyrood’s summer recess at the end of June. The Greens will put forward a series of amendments when MSPs vote on the bill later this year, and Finnie said the plans would focus on tackling "inequality and narrowing the gap" in transport provision.

"We're very keen that we have a model that's inclusive," Finnie said. "We'll seek the broadest interpretation and we'll push the boundaries of this."

SNP ministers have said that the Scottish Parliament does not have enough powers to nationalise rail outright. However, Finnie welcomed a review set up by Yousaf to examine options for a public sector bid for ScotRail, after the contract held by Dutch firm Abellio ends. The ScotRail contract comes up for renewal in 2025.

Finnie said: "What's been devolved is the ability to have a public sector bid, so it's the public sector thrown into the ring with the usual suspects.

"It is not a nationalised model.

"We welcome the fact that there's a Ministerial group looking at a public rail franchise, but it's not the model we would want.

"Our preference for rail would be publicly run, as pure and simple as that, where a Minister is subject to scrutiny for rail services.

"We'd be wanting direct public ownership to ensure that the sole beneficiaries of public money are the public."

Finnie's call came after it was recently announced that the loss-making East Coast Mainline, which serves routes from the Highlands through to London, would be replaced by a public sector operator.

The Highlands and Islands MSP said the Greens would also challenge SNP Ministers to replace privately run bus services with publicly-owned services.

Finnie said: "Lothian buses [publicly owned] is a model that should be replicated.

"It's been a very successful model and we would like to see that replicated, with more local authority involvement."

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said in response: “Our consistent view over many years is that there ought to be a level playing field between the private and public sector in bidding for rail franchises."