Passenger complaints rise
ScotRail paying out £2,000 a day for delays
ScotRail is paying out more than £2,000 a day in compensation to passengers over complaints of cancellations and delays.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed £587,527 was paid out between April and December 2016 to commuters.
Of the total, £340,000 was given to those who complained of a delay, while £52,000 was handed to others as a “gesture of goodwill”.
The Freedom of Information request also showed £178,000 paid out under various ScotRail “policies”, which the organisation describes as full or partial refunds given out to those passengers who feel the agreed level of service wasn’t reached.
More than 40,000 people successfully sought compensation in nine months.
The figures show growing disgruntlement coincided with more disruption caused by the ongoing renewal of the network.
In April 1,963 people who claimed £24,244 in compensation. By December, when the trains crisis began to intensify, that rose to 9,224 claiming £94,878.
Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Liam Kerr said: “The rising cost of compensation appears to reflect the nosedive in quality and reliability experienced by passengers on Scotland’s trains.
“It’s no surprise the bill has surpassed £500,000 for the last nine months when you consider the problems on our railways.
“As well as passengers, you have to feel for the staff who are doing their best with no help from the Scottish Government, and they will be wondering how transport minister Humza Yousaf ever allowed it to get this bad.
“And even if this cost isn’t coming directly from the public purse, passengers and taxpayers – including those who never even use a railway – will end up paying.
“It’s vital the situation on Scotland’s railways is sorted out.
“What worries me the most is, as with so many other public services, the Scottish Government has been completely neglectful, focusing on a renewed drive for independence rather than the day job of running the country.”
ScotRail says the disruption will lead to better services when new trains are introduced and alterations to infrastructure is complete.