Rail franchises operators & contracts

22.10.18

Passengers ‘deserve better’ as ScotRail fined £2.2m for failing to meet performance targets

ScotRail has been fined £2.2m across the first six months of the year after failing to meet a succession of targets.

The train operator missed 15 out of 38 targets between April and June, according to a service quality report, and failed to meet targets in areas including toilets, litter at stations and train cleanliness.

More than £1,180,000 of fines were issued by Transport

 Scotland between January and March, and a following £1,061,000 of penalties were issued in the next three-month period.

ScotRail is fined by Transport Scotland whenever it breaches performance measures, and Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson Colin Smyth has criticised the franchise’s performance, according the Press Association.

He said: “Passengers across Scotland deserve better than this failing ScotRail franchise.

“The least they can expect for a four-figure season ticket is for trains to be clean but as these official figures show that is routinely not the case.

“These fines are not worth the paper they are written on, with privately-run ScotRail funded by the taxpayer through subsidies in the first place.

“It is passengers who are essentially paying both the fines and the price for their continued mismanagement of our railways.”

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “Action is already under way to address areas of concern outlined in the Squire (Service Quality Incentive Regime) report, resulting in some encouraging improvements and a reduction in penalties compared to last quarter.

“A hundred and forty extra staff are being recruited to address the staffing issues which lead to ticket offices being closed when they should be open and to improve the availability of on-train staff.”

The money from penalties is reinvested into Scotland’s railways, according to ScotRail.

David Lister, ScotRail Alliance sustainability and safety assurance director, said: “We know there is a lot of work still to be done but these figures confirm the progress ScotRail is making.

The investment we are making – in new and refurbished trains, in station facilities and in our people – is part of our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.”

Image credit - George Clerk

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