Nationalisation calls grow as ScotRail chaos continues
Serious failings at ScotRail have encouraged calls for the Scottish government to scrap the contract with the firm, after figures revealed over 110 peak time services were cancelled in the last six months between Kirkcaldy, Cardenden and Ednburgh.
Acoding to the figures, from a Freedom of Information request,ScotRail have also regularly failed to meet their Public Performance Measure (met when a train arrives at its destination on time, or within 5 minutes of schedule). According to the franchise agreement, ScotRail’s ‘Moving Annual Average’ for punctuality must be above 88 percent or it risks being found inbreach of contract.
Despite these measures, evening peak time services from Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy fell below the required level every month between April and September, while the Edinburgh evening peak time services calling at Cardenden fell below it in June, July and August.
Despite this, the Scottish Government has agreed to waive ScotRail's responsibilities to uphold it's contractual obligations until mid 2019.
MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Clare Baker said the figures showed that ScotRail was failing customers.
“We have known for some time that Fife commuters are having to deal with delayed, cancelled or over-crowded trains and spiralling high ticket prices." she said, adding: “For far too long, Fife has had to deal with a second-class rail service that is far below the standard we should expect."
“Instead of punishing ScotRail for breaching its contract, the SNP Government are simply content to let them off the hook and let commuters continue to suffer.”
TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes added: "There's nothing ideological about Clare’s call. Just unfortunate experience of a rail service that is disintegrating before passengers eyes, whilst the Transport Minister fails to get a grip.”
ScotRail Alliance managing director Alex Hynes said the firm had "worked flat out to keep people moving and to get services returned to normal as quickly as possible" following disruption following Storm Ali last month.
He added: "We are investing billions in improved infrastructure and hundreds of millions of pounds on new and upgraded trains as we continue to do everything we can to improve performance."