Jackie Baillie blasts Scotrail and calls for public ownership of railways
By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie MSP has called for Scottish railways to be brought back into public ownership following the latest reporting figures from the ScotRail franchise showing performance is well below target.
Just last week, Michael Mathieson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport ruled out ending the Abellio-run ScotRail contract early. But the latest figures show that the franchise’s performance has sunk to 88.2 per cent. This is the third period in a row that the figures have been a record low for Abellio.
The figures for Balloch, Dumbarton Central and Helensburgh Central all fall further below the national performance level. At Dumbarton Central, Scotrail had a performance score of just 85.7% with just 55.6% of trains arriving at the station on time during the period. At Helensburgh Central and Balloch the score was even worse, with a performance score for these stations of just 82.8% and 82.7% respectively, almost 10% lower than the target and less than 50% of trains arriving on time at these stations.
The MSP said: “Scotrail Abellio has performed consistently poorly. I am shocked that less than half of the trains arriving at Balloch and Helensburgh Central are on time. Passengers are paying more in train fares and experiencing a more unreliable service in return.
“The Cabinet Secretary’s honeymoon period is over, it’s time for him to get a grip of Scotland’s railways once and for all. The SNP told us that the Abellio franchise would be a ‘world-leading’ deal but for passengers this has been far from the reality.
“Franchising has failed passengers and staff; it’s time to bring our railways back into public hands.”