MSP’s call to sack Scotrail as passenger satisfaction figures plummet

MSP Jackie Baillie says the government should end Scotrail’s contract.

By Lizzie Healey

Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie has called for ScotRail/Abellio to be stripped of the rail franchise after recent figures demonstrated that the train operator is falling behind on its own passenger satisfaction targets.

The official Autumn 2018 survey, published in January 2019, reveal that ScotRail/Abellio scored 79% in overall passenger satisfaction, trailing behind the franchise agreed target of 88.5% for 2018/19. ScotRail/Abellio is one of the UK’s few franchises in which specific key performance indicators are linked with passenger satisfaction, and the evidence is clear that they are failing to meet their own targets. The survey also revealed that only 39% of passengers are satisfied with how the franchise handles delays.

Previous satisfaction targets were lowered from 88.5% to 84% in 2016/17 and 85% in 2017/18.

The MSP said the Labour party “noted that the SNP government had secretly fiddled with ScotRail passenger satisfaction targets”.

Had the original satisfaction targets stood, she added, the SNP would have been able to strip the franchise from Abellio and bring it into public ownership.

Jackie Baillie said: ““It is an almost regular occurrence that Helensburgh, Balloch and Dumbarton passengers endure delays late alongside being crammed in like sardines thanks to a lack of carriages during rush hour services.

“Passengers have had enough, and this is reflected in this year’s satisfaction levels being well below ScotRail’s own targets. For the sake of passengers and taxpayers, ScotRail continuing in this current state is unacceptable.

“Rather than fiddle with targets like the SNP have chosen to do and green-lighting a licence to fail, Scottish Labour will ensure that our railway system is improved and brought under public ownership.”

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