Action needed over late train services

You may arrive in Motherwell later than expected.
You may arrive in Motherwell later than expected.

Fewer than half of trains terminating at Motherwell are arriving on time, new figures have revealed.

ScotRail’s latest annual statistics for destination arrivals show that only 48.7 per cent of services turned up on schedule.

This comes as a petition signed by more than 14,000 people urges the Scottish Government to axe operator Abellio.

The ScotRail statistics show that services are late more often than not on a third of all rail routes across Scotland.

Labour has published a dossier called ‘ScotFail: How the SNP took our trains off track’ which is demanding action to improve rail reliability.

Central Scotland list MSP Mark Griffin has called for passengers to receive a better service and thinks the best way to achieve this is for the railways to be returned to public hands.

He said: “It is deeply disappointing that one third of all rail routes in Scotland have services that are late more often than they are on time, including services to and from stations in Central Scotland.

“While passengers face cancellations, delays and overcrowding on a daily basis on our trains, the operator, Abellio, is earning over £1 million per month profit from the franchise.

“I support a publicly-owned rail service in Scotland. It is time to get a rail service that passengers deserve and the Scottish Government should do all within their power to deliver that.”

Transport minister Humza Yousaf MSP was also angered by the figures and demanded the operator draw up an improvement plan.

He said: “ScotRail’s performance this year has not been at the level the Scottish Government demands and expects,” “Transport Scotland and Scottish Ministers will be working closely with the franchisee to monitor delivery of this plan and ensure its targets are met.”

ScotRail stated the figure of 48.7 per cent was for trains arriving within 59 seconds of timetable time, but has promised to improve services.

A spokeswoman said: “We have had a challenging few months due to industrial action, the big infrastructure works at Queen Street and the programme to electrify the line between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“This has undoubtedly contributed to the fact that we are slightly behind our demanding target for performance.

“We have agreed an action plan with Transport Scotland about how we pull this back up to the level we would expect.”