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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

ScotRail fined £438,000 after failing to meet standards

ScotRail has been fined £483,000 for failing to meet required standards for trains and stations.

The latest performance results, covering July to September, showed the franchise failed to meet a number of targets in areas including station toilets, ticket machines and train seats, and cleanliness.

The inspection results come as ScotRail, operated by Dutch firm Abellio, has faces criticism for delayed, cancelled and overcrowded trains.

Targets were not met in five out of 17 areas of station performance and ten out of 17 quality categories for trains.

Penalties or rewards are issued by Transport Scotland depending on the quarterly performance against a benchmark set by the Service Quality Incentive Regime (Squire). Fines are reinvested into the rail network.

Squire inspectors audit 353 stations and around 200 trains every four weeks. Service areas inspected range from toilets and timetables to train cleanliness, graffiti, staff service and the public address system.

The inspections cover all stations in Scotland, with the exception of Prestwick International Airport, Lockerbie, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central Station as ScotRail is not the lead operator at these stations.

ScotRail achieved an overall score of 92.21% against a benchmark of 93.12%.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf, said:

"The Squire regime is a fundamental part of our efforts to improve the passenger experience and it is the toughest regime of its kind in the UK.

"A dedicated band of inspectors who check trains and stations every day of every month handing out penalties to the operator wherever faults are found.

"The latest quarter two results show a combined penalty of £483,000, and penalties to date for ScotRail's performance within Squire currently stands at £2.2m."

He added: "This indicates further improvements can, and will, be made in terms of aspects of service delivery such as improvements in station shelters, train doors, train toilets and train announcements.

"As such, Transport Scotland have requested remedial action plans from ScotRail to focus on improving the performance in these areas."

Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said:

"When we took over the franchise, we signed up to an even tougher Squire scheme than had been in place in previous years.

"We did this because we know that being part of a tough scheme will mean that our staff will always be focused on delivering the best possible service to our customers.

"These figures show that, even although we are delivering in lots of areas, we can never stop striving to improve even further."

He added:

"We have announced our largest ever train improvement plan.

"Over the course of the next few years we will be spending £475m on new and refurbished trains as well as great services like enhanced Wi-Fi and at-seat power sockets."


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