Railway blues

We have one of the worst rail services in the country

Cardross commuters with Jackie Baillie and Scotrail boss Alex Hynes.

ScotRail is facing fines of £1.6 million after failing to hit nearly two-thirds of its targets in the final quarter of last year, it has been revealed.

The rail operator’s average performance during quarter 4 resulted in them hitting only 12 out of 34 benchmarks for trains and stations across Scotland meaning it missed 65 per cent of targets for the final quarter of 2017/18.  And figures show that passengers who travel to Dumbarton and Helensburgh on the Edinburgh – Helensburgh line are facing a particularly bad service. With the train operator meeting just 5 out of 17 targets at these stations in the same period meaning that passengers are experiencing some of the worst service in the country. The operator did not meet its target for train timetables and information at either Dumbarton Central or Helensburgh Central at all during this period.

The overall fines that the operator is expected to pay for 2017/18 is now more than £4.5 million. Abellio had been hit with fines in excess of £3 million for the first three quarters of 2017.   Local MSP Jackie Baillie said: ““These reports are truly shocking but come as no surprise. ScotRail has left passengers having to pay a small fortune for delayed and overcrowded trains – and even when trains run there is no guarantee that they will stop at the stations they are supposed to.

Dumbarton Central and Helensburgh stations. Picture by Arthur Jones.

“Reports of station skipping have become routine for passengers in my constituency with stops consistently being missed as the trains aim to meet their unmanageable arrival times at Helensburgh Central and Balloch.  We have been promised improvements in performance by Alex Hynes, the Managing Director, and early signs are promising.

“It is however simply unacceptable that ScotRail continually fails to meet targets, yet the SNP Transport Minister seems content to pretend that all is well with our rail service, acting as a cheerleader for private rail firms rather than passengers.

“It is time this SNP Government faced up to their mess and built a rail service that worked for passengers and not private companies.”


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