North East MSP Mike Rumbles grilled the Scottish Government’s Transport Minister on rail performance today, after it emerged that ScotRail’s punctuality has slipped for the third month in a row.
Speaking at a meeting of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Meeting this morning, the Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesman highlighted a report that shows that this autumns figures have seen a clear downtown from the same period last year. Mr Rumbles also questioned the Minister on why the ‘Right Time’ performance indicators are lagging behind the rest of the UK.
The Minister defended himself by claiming that the early autumn had effected travel times, but could not explain why results are worse than the year before or what action is being taken to get performance back on track.
Mr Rumbles said: “I am not convinced that the Scottish Government are really listening to the experiences of rail users in Scotland. Performance indicators are all well and good but I think many people who use our rail network, especially on longer trips to the North and North East, have really not seen any substantial improvement at all.
“Many passengers still experience cramped carriages, delays, skipped stops and inadequate catering and wifi facilities. The latest downturn in performance is cause for concern, but I would also like the Minister to start addressing all these issues.”
Notes for editors:
Reported in The Scotsman on 22/11/2017:
- Latest figures show 83.1 per cent of trains were classed as on time in the four weeks to 11 November – or arriving at their destination within five minutes of schedule. That compares to 86.1 per cent in the same period last year and 88.3 per cent in the previous four-week period. The previous period was nearly 2 percentage points down on last year and the preceding one 0.6 points down.
- A separate measure, of ScotRail’s performance over the last year, or the “moving annual average”, has also fallen over the last three periods. It was 91.2 per cent in August-September, 91.1 per cent in September-October and 90.8 per cent in the latest period. The figure is just 0.1 point above the level required under the PIP and 1 point higher than in the same period last year.