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ScotRail issued second formal warning over performance in two months by Scottish Government

Minister have issued ScotRail with its second improvement notice in less than two months after failing to meet contractual targets.

Transport Scotland has issued a ‘remedial plan notice’ in recognition that it will be “extremely difficult” for ScotRail to reach its targets this franchise year.

Customer satisfaction has fallen to 79% in the most recent National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) results and Transport Focus, the watchdog behind the national survey, pointed to delays and cancellations as the main reasons for unhappy passengers.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said the latest NRPS results are “unsurprising and clearly linked to recent poor performance. Too often passengers have been left disappointed and this must change swiftly.”

Issuing the order, Matheson said: “Having already issued one remedial plan notice, it is frustrating that another follows.

“ScotRail recognises the reasons for this notice and the direct link between train service reliability and customer satisfaction.

"I require quick action to ensure the ongoing record investment in infrastructure, fleets and staff quite rightly translates to better satisfaction levels and a more attractive service.

ScotRail has a contractual obligation to reach an average customer satisfaction of 88.5%, but Transport Scotland highlights that the operator would need to score in the high nineties to reach this average following recent results.

The remedial plan notice requires ScotRail to set out how it will put measures in place to improve its performance, and it must submit a remedy plan within the next 12 weeks. This is in addition to the existing remedial plan which was issued before Christmas and is due by 18 February.

ScotRail Alliance operations director David Simpson said: “Everyone at the ScotRail Alliance is working flat out to improve punctuality for our customers, and it is a real positive to see performance continuing to show such significant improvement.

“We know that this continues to be a challenging time, and there are areas where we need to deliver a better service, but things are moving in the right direction.”

The Scottish Greens' transport spokesman John Finnie called for urgent improvements and said: “ScotRail's performance has gone from bad to worse, with delays, cancellations and overcrowding commonplace.”

Transport Scotland did note that whilst the train operator is currently some way off meeting its targets, the last three periods have each shown slight improvements in overall performance.

Image credit - George Clerk


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