MSP’s call for action as failing ScotRail receives record fines


Dumbarton Central, Cardross and Bowling. Picture by Arthur Jones.

February 22, 2018 – The SNP Government must intervene on behalf of rail passengers following reports that ScotRail has received record fines for failing to meet required standards, Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie has said.

The Herald has reported that the rail company has racked up £3 million in financial penalties over the first nine months of this year.  The report card shows that ScotRail failed to reach the required standards in service to the public in 26 benchmarking areas out of 34.

ScotRail has also failed to meet punctuality targets for the fifth month in a row with fewer than 90.1 per cent of trains arriving on time in the moving annual average. Local services are particularly badly hit, with fewer than half of trains arriving within one minute of their scheduled time at Balloch and Helensburgh Central, having called at all stations on route. The Dumbarton MSP is holding crunch talks with Alex Hynes, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, in the constituency next month to discuss her demands for an immediate halt to station-skipping.

Jackie is also seeking a debate in the Scottish Parliament calling on the Transport Minister to take action to end station-skipping on local services.

Jackie Baillie said:  “These reports will not come as any surprise to ScotRail passengers in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond.

“ScotRail has left local passengers paying over the odds for a service which is getting worse. Complaints about station-skipping have skyrocketed and passengers are crammed into overcrowded services at rush hour.  Passengers have a reasonable expectation when they buy a ticket that the train will stop at the station they paid for instead of speeding through to reach the final destination on time. Unfortunately these figures show that our local services have been hit particularly badly by delays and station-skipping. This is simply unacceptable, yet the SNP Government buries its head in the sand and pretends everything is fine.  I look forward to meeting Alex Hynes soon to discuss ways to improve services in West Dunbartonshire, Helensburgh and Lomond, including an immediate clamp down on station skipping.”

Notes to Readers:  ScotRail Performance Update with breakdown of on time arrivals at Dumbarton Central, Balloch and Helensburgh Central:

Jackie Baillie’s motion in the Scottish Parliament for a members’ business debate:   Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/02/2018

End stop-skipping on ScotRail services:  That the Parliament notes calls on the ScotRail Alliance to introduce immediate measures to reduce the level of stop-skipping on rail services in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and across Scotland; believes that there has been an increase in complaints regarding stop-skipping from passengers since Abellio won the ScotRail franchise; understands that this practice used to be a much rarer occurrence during times of large-scale disruption on the network but considers that its usage has expanded to cope with relatively minor delays; further considers that parts of the network are disproportionately affected, particularly the Balloch and Helensburgh lines; believes that it was a mistake not to include standards on stop-skipping in the terms of service for the franchise, and notes calls on the Minister for Transport and the Islands to ensure that ScotRail implements a clear and robust framework to dramatically reduce the level of stop-skipping and seek reassurances that the practice will be abolished at stations where the impact on passengers is greatest.

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