RAIL FARES

Baillie repeats call for fare deal as commuter satisfaction plummets

Jackie Baillie MSP  continues to plead for better railway service.

By Lizzie Healey

Dumbarton and Lomond constituency MSP  Jackie Baillie has again called on ScotRail to do more to ensure that the service provided to passengers in Dumbarton, Balloch and Helensburgh is reliable.

Her latest plea came after an annual survey revealed that passenger satisfaction with Abellio-run ScotRail has plummeted to a 15-year low.

The survey results show that overall satisfaction with ScotRail is down six percentage-points on last year to 79 per cent, well below the franchise target of 88.5%.

And that fewer than half of passengers, 39 per cent, are satisfied with how the privately run firm deals with delays – a 12 per cent drop on last year.

Meanwhile, just 51 per cent of passengers feel that they are getting value for money – an eight per cent fall compared to the year before.

Passengers in Dumbarton, Balloch and Helensburgh have experienced constant delays and cancellations since October last year.

Despite the rail company compensating passengers from other areas, passengers on these lines have been expected to tolerate the unreliable service and continue to pay exorbitant prices.

Jackie Baillie said: “It comes as no surprise that passenger satisfaction with ScotRail has plummeted. For my own constituents, the rail company has provided a woeful service with constant delays and cancellations and overcrowding on rush hour services because of a lack of carriages.

“And despite this poor service, commuters are being asked to fork out more money to travel on our trains with ScotRail’s rip-off fare rise being given the green light by the SNP Government.

“I have raised the problems with the service time and time again with both the Scottish Government and ScotRail itself, but my calls for compensation for passengers and an improvement in service have fallen on deaf ears.

“The Transport Secretary [Michael Matheson] has allowed Abellio to miss target after target. The SNP should be using the current budget process to deliver a fare freeze for passengers and back Labour’s call for public ownership of our railways to ensure that our transport system works.”

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