Bitter sweet update for franchise

ScotRail hails staff boost as Labour blasts late trains

Class 320 ScotRail train

ScotRail’s penalties have fallen


ScotRail claims that the recruitment of 140 frontline staff has helped improve customer service, while Scottish Labour says it has recorded its worst performance since the current franchise began.

Figures show a 42% fall in payments made by ScotRail to the SQUIRE fund when performance on trains and at stations fails to meet standards set by Transport Scotland.

Contributions for the three months to the end of March were just under £900,000 from £1.5m for the same period last year.

ScotRail says that  more frontline roles – including ticket examiners and station staff – has played a key part in the improvement and follows a commitment to improve staffing and recruitment in the recent Remedial Agreement reached with Transport Scotland.

Staffing issues now account for only 10% of all contributions, improving on around 33% of SQUIRE contributions during the last quarter of  2018.

All money raised through the SQUIRE fund is reinvested into projects across Scotland’s railway. The regime is regarded as the toughest of its kind in the UK.

Improvements delivered include the refurbishment of Leuchars station, a new toilet at Tweedbank, upgraded customer help points throughout the network, improvements in trains cleanliness, announcements and to the seat reservation system.

ScotRail Sustainability and Safety Assurance Director David Lister said: “These figures are very encouraging and show the efforts made to deliver on our commitment to give customers the best possible experience when travelling with us.

“We’re confident the recruitment of additional frontline colleagues will see continued improvement to the service our customers receive.”

Scottish Labour pointed to the latest Public Performance Measure Moving Annual Average (PPM MAA) showing 87.2% of booked services arrived within five minutes of their booked arrival time, having called at all booked stations on the route. The target PPM MAA for the franchise is 92.5%.

Scottish Labour Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth said: “Yet another fall in ScotRail performance will come as no surprise to Scotland’s long suffering rail passengers. 

“With the worst performance being recorded since the franchise began, it’s clear that enough is enough.

“It’s scandalous that passengers have to put up with regular delays, cancellations or overcrowding whilst fares keep rising.

“Scottish Labour will bring an end to the chaos on our railways by bringing them into public ownership, so that Scotland can deliver a transport system that people can rely on.”

ScotRail has racked up fines of over £12 million since Abellio took over the franchise, new figures released today show.

New statistics published through the Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) show that the franchise missed 22 out of 38 key benchmarks missed in the final quarter of 2018/19.

Benchmarks include performance on CCTV and security, which ScotRail scored 70 per cent against a target of 95 per cent, and litter and contamination, where the franchise scored 56.8 per cent against a target of 95 per cent.  

The total fine for 2018/19 was £3,993,615, taking the total fines for the franchise so far to £12,222,284.

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