By Democrat reporter
Local MSP Jackie Baillie has highlighted recent figures released by the Office of Rail and Road that reveal that since the Abellio franchise started running Scottish trains in 2015, almost 75,000 trains have been cancelled, including many on the Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Balloch lines.
These 74,514 cancellations have come at a time when SNP Government ministers have heralded the Abellio train service as “world leading”.
These figures were accompanied by new findings which show that train ticket prices are set to rise once again, taking the total increase in charges to 13% since the Abellio franchise began in 2015.
Jackie Baillie campaigning in Cardross for a better service from the railways.
Scottish Labour has called on the government not to renew the Abellio franchise contract in 2022 – a power that SNP Government ministers have and are free to use.
Jackie Baillie said: “This SNP Government have got some cheek to brag about the “world leading” service being offered by Abellio when we know that thousands of passengers are left stranded every day due to the franchise’s unacceptable level of cancellations. Train passengers in my constituency know fine well that Abellio has let them down when it comes to their train services, with delays, cancellations, short-formed trains and stop skipping.
“Hundreds of people have missed important appointments, being late for work and having their day-to-day lives disrupted due to a total mismanagement of Scotland’s trains by the Abellio franchise.
“And as if we needed more evidence that the Abellio franchise must be dissolved, the hike in ticket fares that Abellio are charging customers to travel on their poor service is nothing short of an outrage. My constituents deserve better and it’s time that this SNP Government did the right thing and got rid of this failing franchise.
“If the Scottish Government is on the side of passengers then they won’t renew the Abellio franchise contract in 2022. The SNP Government need to prove that they aren’t just all talk, but that they will listen and take decisive action. Passengers have been more than patient.”