Labour attacks trains firm

ScotRail facing further fine for missed targets

Waverley station

Under performance: ScotRail facing another penalty

ScotRail is facing fines of £1.6 million after failing to hit nearly two-thirds of its targets in the final quarter of last year, according to Scottish Labour.

The rail operator’s average performance during the fourth quarter saw it hitting only 12 of 34 benchmarks – meaning it missed 65%.

The revelation comes after bank holiday rail chaos at Glasgow Central saw mass cancellations and delays.

As a result of failing to meet the benchmarks, ScotRail is facing a fine of £1,599,893.

It emerged earlier this year that ScotRail operator Abellio is facing fines of more than £3m for its failures in the previous three quarters. 

Scottish Labour’s Rural Affairs and Connectivity spokesperson Colin Smyth said: “These are shocking reports, but sadly they come as no surprise.

“ScotRail has left passengers having to pay a small fortune for delayed and overcrowded trains – and even when trains are not cancelled, they still can’t be guaranteed to stop at the stations they are supposed to.

“The fact that ScotRail seems to think this performance is acceptable because the fines are put back into the industry shows real contempt for the impact these missed targets have on passengers. 

“This is simply unacceptable, yet the SNP Transport Minister Humza Yousaf seems content to pretend the way we run our railways in Scotland is acceptable, constantly acting as a cheerleader for private rail firms rather than passengers.”

Scottish Labour has said it would take Scotland’s railways back into public ownership.

Electrification milestone

The ScotRail Alliance has announced that the first stage of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa electrification project will complete this month. 

From Sunday 20 May train services will return to normal timetables following the completion of the first stage of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa electrification project.

Those travelling between Glasgow / Edinburgh and Stirling / Dunblane / Alloa / Perth / Dundee have seen buses replace trains in the evening and at weekends since September 2016 while the major improvement works were carried out. 

The first section to be electrified as part of the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa electrification project covers 26 single track kilometres and includes Falkirk Grahamston and Camelon stations. The remaining work to electrify the route will take place at night, when no trains are running, meaning there will be no further disruption to customers’ journeys.

Once complete, in 2019, the electrification of Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa will mean: 

  • Many services operated by electric Class 385 trains, which will offer a better experience and reduce some journey times from Stirling to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • More seats on services between Alloa, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Stirling and Edinburgh.
  • Less noise and better air quality for those who live and work near the railway.

ScotRail Alliance head of customer experience Graham Heald said: “This is an important milestone in the electrification of the route. 

“”We’d like to thank our customers for their patience over the past 19 months while we’ve progressed our plans to build the best railway Scotland’s ever had.

“Once complete, this work will deliver more seats, faster journeys and better services for our customers.”

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